"Not everybody has access to a computer "

About: Hackenthorpe Medical Centre

(as the patient),

The Hackenthorpe Medical centre in Sheffield has changed its system of ordering medication.

Instead of being able to ring up to re-order you now have to order on-line.The posting of your requirements at the surgery is still available.

I have been told that the new system benifits everybody. But in my opinion this is not the case. If seems like no thought has been given to the mobility of the patient or that not everybody owns or has access to a computer. I really do feel sorry for the old and imfirm.

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Response from Angela Powell, Hackenthorpe Medical Centre

Dear 'Old Duffer'

Thank you for your communication regarding the cessation of our repeat prescription telephone request line.

We have reached the decision to stop this service, to bring us into line with the guidelines produced by the Commission for Quality Care. All General Practices will shortly be required to register and submit their policies for review by the Commission.

Due to the high rate of error in verbal requests, it is no longer felt acceptable to take requests for repeat prescriptions over the telephone. Our receptionists are often asked for little blue tablets, or the brown inhaler etc. It is also difficult for patients to pronounce the complex names of many medications and it can be difficult to interpret what they are saying, especially over the telephone. We need to ensure that errors cannot be made by assuming which tablets/medicines our patients are requesting, due to not having a written record of what has been requested.

Requests can still be made by :-

Post enclosing an SAE,

Email using our website requiring a password and email address.


In person (24 hour letter box)

Repeat Dispensing – this is the system by which, in suitable cases, up to 12 prescriptions can be issued in advance to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice and collected without the need for pre-ordering.

We do have misgivings about this decision and realise it inconveniences some of our patients. However given the CQC guidelines and our recent survey of neighboring practices, the majority of which have ceased routine telephone requests, we feel we are left with no option in the matter.

We will always try to help our patients who are confused, or patients who have run into an urgent problem with their medication. We will also make exception for those patients on our palliative care register.

Yours sincerely

Drs Parkes, Pycock, Beckett and Hodges

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