Should I make a complaint?

(32 Posts)
IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 17:03:34

Hello all, I'm not sure what to do about this issue and thought I'd ask the MN collective for a yes or no.
I tested positive for Covid and received the test results Wednesday night. DD was already at her dads for a few days so I'm on my own.
Thursday I emailed my GP for my usual 2 monthly repeat prescription ( That is how they currently ask patients to request them ) I asked for everything on my repeat and requested it be sent to my usual local pharmacy. I also told them I had Covid and wouldn't be able to collect the prescription.
On Friday I called the pharmacy who had received the prescription that morning, they couldn't get it delivered to me until Monday morning, fair enough. I was due to run out of meds on Saturday But could cope for one day.
This morning my prescription was delivered, half the meds were missing including the ones i really needed after a day off them.
I called my GP Surgery and was told by a receptionist that the missing meds needed to be re authorised by the GP before I could have them, (This surprised me as the surgery had called me 10 days previously to conduct a medications review) but she said they would rush them through and she would call the pharmacy to let them know the situation and make sure they could deliver to me this afternoon. All good.
By 4pm nothing had arrived so
I called the pharmacy, they checked and a prescription had been sent through 25 mins earlier and a second came through as I was talking to them. They said the earliest they could deliver was Wednesday and why couldn't I just I collect it tomorrow.
So I went through the whole story with them and of course nobody from the GP surgery had told them anything!
In the end the very nice lady I spoke to said she would drop them to my front door herself tomorrow before starting work, which was extremely kind of her In the circumstances.
Now I know my GP surgery will be very busy at the moment, but how difficult çan It be to 1 - send out a full prescription when I've requested it correctly and it's a usual repeat nothing out of the ordinary and 2 - once they've been informed of their mistake ( politely I might add ) and they tell me how they're going to put it right. to actually do that and put it right?
I am now 2 and a half days without the meds I do need and the poor pharmacy assistant probably felt obliged to go out of her way to help
I honestly don't want to make life difficult for anyone at the GP surgery but that's bloody awful service from them.
Should I make a complaint?

OP’s posts: |
Mindymomo Mon 16-Nov-20 17:12:56

Yes, I would, but don’t suppose anything will be done.

I am on 2 monthly repeat and what I do is order a few days earlier each time, so that I always have 1 month supply when I put in a new request.

IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 17:20:07

@Mindymomo that's a good idea thanks

OP’s posts: |
OpheliasCrayon Mon 16-Nov-20 17:38:22

No. I'm sure it was a mistake. If it happened again then maybe. I have chronic illnesses and have done for too many years to count. Doctors, pharmacists are always busy, always have a ton of stuff to do and be on top of,.. I'd make sure you get the meds and make a point of needing them, but be kind and just assume it was a mistake. I wouldn't complain. I save my complaints for the really serious stuff - like genuine malpractice (which has happened to me before and I was invited to sue the hospital. I didn't and just wrote a complaint). People are human and make mistakes. Get your meds but let it drop in my opinion

Augustbreeze Mon 16-Nov-20 17:49:35

You're expecting the NHS to run like a private business. For better or worse, it doesn't...

Very frustrating, worrying and stressful for you though, don't get me wrong!

Srictlybakeoff Mon 16-Nov-20 17:55:10

You emailed on Thursday about meds you would run out of by Saturday. Maybe you should order a bit more in advance next time. GPS have prescriptions to sort out, referrals to write, blood results to check and deal with, letters from hospital to read and deal with, as well as seeing patients and dealing with telephone calls. And pharmacies can have shortages of certain meds.
I understand it’s frustrating for you, and maybe communication could have been better but I think you have to understand how many other things are going on for them . And get your meds ordered a bit earlier next time

LIZS Mon 16-Nov-20 18:15:27

Complaint about what? You gave less than two working days' notice of your repeat yet it still arrived at the pharmacy. How you collect or get meds delivered is between you and the pharmacy, it is not up to gp to share you being in si (imagine the gdpr outcry if they did). Is there noone, perhaps a neighbour or community volunteer, who could collect sooner than Wednesday?

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OpheliasCrayon Mon 16-Nov-20 18:16:40

I think I misread...you gave two days notice ??..
I think they'd have grounds to complain about you not the other way round. If they're that important you should be taking more care to get things in on time

Northernsoulgirl45 Mon 16-Nov-20 18:27:44

We have to give 5 days notice for ours so I wouldn't complain.

IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 18:28:16

I put the request in well within the timescales they tell us to. We aren't allowed to request repeats earlier than 48 hrs before needed. We used to be able to but since Covid it's all changed.
Plus if I'd known I was going to have Covid I'd have tried to request earlier

OP’s posts: |
HareHoo Mon 16-Nov-20 18:41:32

No, surgeries are being inundated with a tidal wave of patients. If you make a complaint you are keeping them from doing what they need to be doing by giving them more admin.
Yes, it is a stressful time but it sounds like no harm done.

WiseUpJanetWeiss Mon 16-Nov-20 18:51:31

I think I would email the practice manager with a factual account of what happened and ask for their advice about what you should do next time to avoid a repeat. The issue is less the pharmacy delivery arrangements and more the delay in writing the prescription I think (made worse by their new timescale rules), so it’s a valid question even for when you’re not isolating. There’s a halfway house between an actual complaint and genuinely wanting to prevent a recurrence.

IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 21:21:55

@WiseUpJanetWeiss thanks. To clarify I have absolutely no problem with the pharmacy at all. They have been nothing but helpful.
It's the GP surgery only sending half a prescription, then claiming it was because the other items needed to be authorised but not telling me that. Then saying they would call the pharmacy to let them know the rest of my prescription was being sent over and ask them to deliver it today.

OP’s posts: |
Wingedharpy Mon 16-Nov-20 22:30:43

@IndieTara : Repeat order 48 hours before meds run out is never going to work - even in pre-pandemic times.
It doesn't leave enough wriggle room for you, the surgery or the pharmacy if anything crops up in the interim, as you've discovered.

As you're now sorted, up to you but personally, I wouldn't have the time, energy or inclination to complain.

What I would do, however, is approx 2 weeks before your next prescription is due for ordering, order early and add a note to say you will be away/on holiday and you're ordering early to ensure you can continue with your therapeutic regime, as prescribed.

And continue....

Sweetnhappy1 Mon 16-Nov-20 22:54:52

Next time order them a week before you need them, one working day is unrealistic. GPs (as well as the rest of the NHS) are slammed at the moment. Not all medications can be automatically authorised by admin staff (even if you've had a medication review). Certain pain-killers, contraceptive pills, HRT etc need a GP to look at the prescription before it can be issued. Most practices aim to get this done within 48 hours (working hours) of the request being made but Fridays and Mondays are particularly busy. A lot of practices are lacking staff due to self-isolation/illness etc. Please don't waste their time further by making pointless complaints, they have to reply to all complaints and they could better spend this time actually helping patients. Your lack of organisation is not their problem. Hope you feel better soon.

OpheliasCrayon Mon 16-Nov-20 22:57:11

Sweetnhappy1

Next time order them a week before you need them, one working day is unrealistic. GPs (as well as the rest of the NHS) are slammed at the moment. Not all medications can be automatically authorised by admin staff (even if you've had a medication review). Certain pain-killers, contraceptive pills, HRT etc need a GP to look at the prescription before it can be issued. Most practices aim to get this done within 48 hours (working hours) of the request being made but Fridays and Mondays are particularly busy. A lot of practices are lacking staff due to self-isolation/illness etc. Please don't waste their time further by making pointless complaints, they have to reply to all complaints and they could better spend this time actually helping patients. Your lack of organisation is not their problem. Hope you feel better soon.

^

IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 23:21:24

@OpheliasCrayon @Wingedharpy @Sweetnhappy1
As I said upthread patients are not currently allowed to request repeat prescriptions more than 48 hrs in advance. And since we are in the middle of a pandemic I can hardly say that I need them early as I'm going away.
To all of you saying I need to be more prepared, I would love to be. Unfortunately it's the surgery setting the timescales not me.

OP’s posts: |
ekidmxcl Mon 16-Nov-20 23:27:40

I wouldn’t bother complaining. This is par for the course with NHS systems and procedures. GPs are massively overworked. I want the NHS privatised, with the poorest exempt from paying and everyone else getting insurance. It’s broken and people are drawing rainbows about it. We praise an institution that has buggered systems and procedures in an attempt to thank front line staff. I didn’t even vote Tory and I think it should be privatised.

Sweetnhappy1 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:32:17

IndieTara

*@OpheliasCrayon* @Wingedharpy @Sweetnhappy1
As I said upthread patients are not currently allowed to request repeat prescriptions more than 48 hrs in advance. And since we are in the middle of a pandemic I can hardly say that I need them early as I'm going away.
To all of you saying I need to be more prepared, I would love to be. Unfortunately it's the surgery setting the timescales not me.

Are you absolutely sure that you've interpreted the 48 hour thing properly? Could someone have given you incorrect information? I have never heard of any GP surgery saying that you can only request medication within 48 hours of running out, that's bonkers. And I have worked in quite a few.

IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 23:43:12

@Sweetnhappy1 I think so. 2 months ago I called to request my repeat and was told I had to request by email and to wait a couple of days so it was 48 hrs beforehand,
I suppose it could have changed in the interim

OP’s posts: |
IndieTara Mon 16-Nov-20 23:43:37

But I agree it seems weird

OP’s posts: |
GalaxyCookieCrumble Mon 16-Nov-20 23:45:48

HareHoo

No, surgeries are being inundated with a tidal wave of patients. If you make a complaint you are keeping them from doing what they need to be doing by giving them more admin.
Yes, it is a stressful time but it sounds like no harm done.


Actually being without medication for 3/4 days is harmful

Wingedharpy Mon 16-Nov-20 23:47:27

What happens if you do order more than 48 hours in advance?

I'm not blaming you OP but whoever set this 48 hour cut off "rule", has clearly never been a patient requiring regular meds.

Pharmacies do sometimes have difficulties getting certain meds, so, if that happens, you have no buffer to fall bak on.

I appreciate that they won't want you stockpiling months and months worth of drugs, but you do need a couple of weeks worth to get you over blips, such as this that has happened to you.

Try ordering earlier next time and if that request is blocked, then is the time to complain to the Practice Manager....or whichever eejit made the "rule".

Sweetnhappy1 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:48:08

Could they have meant email us the request and wait a couple of days before you collect them? Wait 48 hours before you try and collect? We say this all the time.

ClaireP20 Mon 16-Nov-20 23:50:37

Yes, and I suspect the receptionist was at fault. I'm sorry but doctor's surgery's are terrible at the moment. My one told me i could only have a phone consultation in 2 weeks time when my baby was ill! So i had to traipse to A & E for his ear infection to be sorted. Poor thing was in agony. I'm going to complain too..

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