"System causing frustration for Staff and Patients"

About: Milton Keynes Hospital

Anything else?

I accompanied my 81year old, virtually deaf, husband to see the Consultant in Audiology and our treatment in that Department was, as always, excellent.

However, the same cannot be said of the "system" for prescribing medication - the Consultant is required to fill in a form which has to be taken to the Pharmacy. It might be far simpler if the Consultant could just give the patient a prescription so that they could go away and get anything they needed from their local pharmacy as the experience in the Hospital Pharmacy leaves quite a lot to be desired


We had to ring the bell twice before anyone came to the window and, after signing the relevant form we had to wait 30 minutes despite the fact that the pharmacy had no other out-patients waiting.

During our wait at least three nurses/staff arrived on various missions - there is no form of privacy available and we could hear all conversations. It was obvious from their conversations with pharmacy that somewhere along the line the system is breaking down as the result for one Nurse was that, due to there being no pharmacist available on the Ward or to speak to by phone or in the Pharmacy, transport for a patient going home would have to be cancelled, meaning the bed would be "blocked" and one can only imagine the knock-on effect. The Staff in question showed remarkable patience but their frustration was patently obvious.

Eventually my husband's prescription was brought out only for staff to discover an error in the labelling so it had to be returned and we had to wait again until the error was rectified. The member of the Pharmacy Staff appeared unable to realise that (despite being advised of the fact) someone coming from Audiology and needing ear-drops might have hearing problems, gabbled away at high speed as if she expected me to take everything in (my husband is the patient and it should have been explained to him - he may be deaf but he is not stupid!)

In the time it had taken to walk down to the Pharmacy, wait to have the prescription taken, wait for the dispensing and error rectification, I could have driven home, gone to my local pharmacy and had the necessary medication.

As the Pharmacy seems unable to cope in-house (refer to staff problems above) it seems ridiculous to overload it with out-patient prescriptions as well.

A return to the "old" system of Doctors giving patients prescriptions directly might be to everyone's advantage!

Story from NHS Choices

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