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Prescriptions when on holiday - how is it _supposed_ to work?

(10 Posts)
r3dh3d Fri 12-Aug-11 10:02:17

I thought I more or less understood the NHS, but this has got me baffled.

Background: DD1 has very severe Epilepsy and is on a whole heap of medications which never run out at the same time so we are constantly getting repeat prescriptions, putting them into the pharmacy, picking meds up from the pharmacy etc etc. PCT Policy is only to prescribe one month's worth at a time which doesn't help though I can see how it saves them money; DD1's total meds bill must be pretty huge.

We live in Surrey but now have a holiday place in Wales so we spend every school holiday up there. We try to pack as many meds as possible, but for the Summer holidays there is no way we could last a whole 6 weeks.

I thought I had a Cunning Plan to solve this: ie to register in Wales as a temporary resident, and get prescriptions issued by the GP there. We registered when we were up at Easter - it took me days to organise getting the notes faxed through for them to set DD1 up on the system - and that worked ok for that trip. But now we're back for the summer, the doctor (who won't even see us, he'll only speak to me through the receptionist) says he won't prescribe any more because we're not proper temporary residents and we either have to re-register in Wales - obviously bonkers - or get our prescriptions sent up from Surrey. The surgery in Surrey says that if I post them a prescription request with a stamped addressed envelope, they will post the prescription back to me. Bearing in mind that DD1 will be hospitalised within 24 hours if she doesn't have her meds on time, and this surgery is notoriously disorganised/inefficient - one of the reasons I pick her prescriptions up in person is that about one time in three they simply forget to issue them and I have to stand and argue till a doctor writes one on the spot for me - there is no way that's going to work.

I'm currently waiting for a call back from the duty GP in Surrey to see if I can persuade them to fax a prescription through to the local pharmacy. But even if she agrees, it's going to take the best part of today chasing round before I know that the fax has definitely gone through and been accepted and the meds are actually on order.

Does anyone else do this? Ie live in 2 locations and have a lot of prescriptions to fill? Is there a "right" way of doing it, or is it always this much of a nightmare?

nocake Fri 12-Aug-11 10:16:54

Have you considered using a repeat prescription service from Boots? They will contact your GP to get the prescription and you can ask them to have it available from whichever branch is closest to you.

Lizcat Fri 12-Aug-11 11:21:35

Could you not get a batch perscription (usually 6 lots of 1 month perscription) from your GP and then Cash them all. This is what I do as I have periods where being able to get to my phrmacy when it is open.

ThingOne Fri 12-Aug-11 15:41:39

Can you not ask for two months' supply before you go away? I usually order double of my drugs in the run up to Christmas and if I'm away. I write this clearly on my form and it's been fine.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 12-Aug-11 19:46:01

I do the same as Thing for dd. Write on that I'll be away when it's due next time and it's usually fine. Also I put dd's scripts in slightly earlier each month and over the year it usually gives us maybe a month extra [sneaky]. If the meds are on an as and when basis how do they know whether or not you've run out - just put the script back in again the following month even though you still have a stock.

r3dh3d Fri 12-Aug-11 22:50:59

Well, they faxed a scrip through in the end, thank heavens, though they were quite grumpy about the doctor in Wales refusing to prescribe.

I guess I'll have to have a heart-to-heart with the GP when we get back. The official story has always been: "we only give one month at a time, and no exceptions" but something has to give.

The thing is - I don't know who is in the wrong here. Who do I complain to? The PCT in Surrey for sticking to their jobsworth "one month only" rule, or the PCT in Wales for sticking to their jobsworth "you can't be a temporary resident for more than a couple of months" rule? Possibly both of them hmm.

Sidge Fri 12-Aug-11 23:01:49

The GP can prescribe more than a months supply, they just choose not to. It is unlikely to be PCT policy, more likely to be surgery policy.

The PCT in Wales are well within their rights not to issue scripts to temp patients for lengthy periods of time. Treatment as a temporary resident is usually limited to "immediate and necessary" treatment, so not repeat prescriptions.

We will give 2 months supply especially where a patient is going on holiday as long as it's submitted in enough time for the patient's GP to approve it - so might need more than the usual 48 hours tunraround time.

Regarding the meds not being co-ordinated - if you get organised onto a repeat prescription service through a pharmacy then they will arrange with the prescription clerk at your surgery to sort it so that all her meds are due at the same time. They can even do a calendar pack for you if needed!

Ilovemangoes Sat 13-Aug-11 19:44:55

Sidge is right - it is not right at all for the GP in Wales to be issuing the meds, your own GP in Surrey should be issuing you a longer supply. It is usually 2 months worth at a time AFAIK.

ameliagrey Sat 13-Aug-11 19:52:22

Surely it's simple- just ask your own GP to give you 2 months' worth as you are going away on hols.

Milliways Sat 13-Aug-11 22:19:28

If you ever do get dangerously low, then the Out of Hours Service can write a prescription and fax it to a chemist (it happens in my area all the time).

If you have not opted out of the NHS Summary Care Record, and your surgery has gone "live" then they will be able to access all repeat medications and ensure they are giving the correct one.

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