"Overall excellent service but supply process could be better and easier"

About: Adult community services / Nutrition and dietetics

(as a relative),

The service is excellent but I think, it would make life a lot easier if the dieticians deliver the supply themselves other than us waiting for the prescription then giving it to the pharmacy + waiting 3 days for the supply.

We have to also phone the dieticians ourselves every time we need a prescription. It should be done automatically I feel. They should know when the supply will finish. We need more. It just saves a lot of time and hassle.

Overall excellent service and the staff whom I speak to on the phone are very polite and helpful.

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Response from Kerry Hollingworth, Corporate Affairs Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback via Patient Opinion, we really appreciate patient feedback and are pleased to hear that overall you have found the service to be excellent and that the staff who you have spoken to on the phone are very polite and helpful.

In Rotherham, Gluten Free Products are completely free within the allowance while in most places there is a charge that the patient has to pay. To allow for this, we negotiate the best way to source the products, with minimal product handling charges. The Dietitian works closely with the Consultants to ensure all patients receive what they require. To date, the Rotherham model has been very well received by patients and GP’s, we will however be interested to review the results of a pilot, in another area, which has used a Pharmacy prescribing service instead.

In Rotherham we also aim to minimise dispensing fees so we can continue to offer gluten free products on the NHS. We do offer the option of a 1, 2 or 3 monthly Prescription which gives the opportunity of having more product lines and a wider variety of products.

Your feedback and comments on the service we offer are very valuable and we hope we have answered your queries. Please be assured we do have the interests of our patients at the forefront of our prescribing.

Thank you again

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Response from Kerry Hollingworth, Corporate Affairs Officer, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Following our initial response we have had further information provided by the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and wanted to share this with you:

• When the gluten free service was commissioned, the CCG looked at a system of delivering products directly to patients. However this proved expensive; and would have had a potentially required other services to be reduced to put this in place. Pharmacies provide a ‘ready made’ distribution system, with most people in Rotherham having a pharmacy close at hand and in convenient locations, with extensive opening hours to accommodate people who work.

• We have also looked at systems that supply automatically. These systems can produce a lot of waste, as different people use products at different speeds; also people might vary their use of products from time to time.

• If dieticians were to supply patients directly, they may not have time to offer much needed support and information to patients. Also, any system has to allow for different individual needs and availability.

We hope this additional information is helpful.

With best wishes

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