"Inefficient process for collecting payment for..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

What could be improved

I went to A&E and have no complaints about the waiting time or treatment.

However, I was prescribed some medication and had to fill out a "promise to pay" form for the prescription. There was no option to pay there and then. Instead I have to either ring a number during office hours or mail in a cheque.

This seems inefficient to me. Installing a card terminal would enable payment as soon as the prescription has been issued, and I expect that chasing non-payment of a prescription would cost more than the value of the prescription itself.

It's also a poor experience for me as a patient. I have called the number multiple times over the last week to make payment and nobody is picking up the phone.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We were pleased to hear that you are happy with the waiting times and treatment in the Emergency Department. However, we were very concerned to hear that you have experienced difficulties in paying for your prescription due to the process we currently have in place. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused for you.

Your comments have been forwarded to the relevant senior managers responsible for the Emergency Department and the Pharmacy. The Manager responsible for Pharmacy has responded to say that your feedback will be used to review the ‘Promise to Pay’ forms and also to explore alternative solutions to the process for paying for prescriptions.

You mentioned that you are still experiencing difficulty in getting through to make the payment over the phone. This may now be resolved, if it is not please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be happy to assist you in getting it sorted.

You can contact PALS by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk , via the hospital website http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form.htm or in person by dropping in between 10-4pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located to the left of the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to post your comments on the NHS Choices website.

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