My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To think the new see a pharmacist thing could be a disaster

147 replies

Dancebaby1989 · 06/02/2024 12:44

So really unwell yesterday and today- massive swollen tonsils, temperature, headache, red blisters in throat, tonsil stone. Decided to do an e consultation for GP and they booked me into to the pharmacist under the new government scheme- no issues at all.
get to pharmacist and he gets out a book of flow charts and when I explaining my symptoms is sat googling them and words from the flow chart- asked him if he need me to explain anything as am a nurse and he stated he had received no formal training they had just provided the flow charts.
end consultant and prescription complete but he never actually did any observations or even looked at my throat and while I know I need them I feel this is such a poor role out of this (not his fault) and could be dangerous

OP posts:
Report

Am I being unreasonable?

317 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
16%
You are NOT being unreasonable
84%
Tulipvase · 06/02/2024 18:01

As long as it means less ABs being handed out rather than more, I’d be happy to try it.

Report
trytopullyoursocksup · 06/02/2024 18:04

I don't think it's any worse than before, from a patient POV, and in some ways better. Yes, it would be better to see a real dr same day, discuss everything in the context of your general health and existing conditions/ care, etc etc but you aren't comparing it with that - you are comparing it with sod all.

The reality has been for a while that you have to read up around your symptoms, manage your own condition and push for the care / prescription you probably need. It's not like we're suddenly in the wild west grabbing drugs off the shelves when they used to be dished out by a wise family doctor making house calls.

I am a but worried about anti-b tolerance but what can you do

Report
glusky · 06/02/2024 18:12

I have twice been to a pharmacist with a child with shingles, asking them if it might be shingles. Both times they categorically told me it wasn't. One time it was because "children don't get shingles" but the GP I saw a few days later told me it had got very common in children recently.

I don't mean to be negative but given our personal experience it's hard not to be. Pharmacists have a really important role and are highly trained, but I'm not convinced they are highly trained in clinical aspects like diagnosing skin conditions.

Report
Fionaville · 06/02/2024 18:13

Our GP surgery, now has a full time paramedic in place of one of the GPs. Whilst I'd be happy to see them with a simple infection or something, I actually needed more specialist care and a referral made. I told him what I thought I had and what needed to be done, but he'd never heard of it. He gave me bad advice and it's caused my treatment to be delayed when it really shouldn't have been.
I could cry at what's been done to our NHS, when I think of how it used to be and what it's like now. We've allowed this to happen.

Report
Dancebaby1989 · 06/02/2024 18:22

I know I needed antibiotics due to my background but I feel patients being given antibiotics and not having the medical training to even look at the problem could lead to others miss using the service and word of mouth for this sort of thing in my experience spreads like wild fire.
I completely agree this has just been thrust on them and they are trying to play catch up and sort this but the training has not happened and while the knowledge of medicine, side effects and contra indications is extensive the knowledge of presenting symptoms and such is just not there for most

OP posts:
Report
YourDiscoNeedsYou · 06/02/2024 18:33

I’ve been going to pharmacists for years for minor(ish) issues because it’s so much more convenient than having to book an appointment with a GP then sit in a waiting room for an hour while the appointments run late. For a lot of our needs, pharmacists have enough training and I’ve always found them really knowledgeable, and they’ve pointed me in the direction of the GP when necessary. For anything urgent A&E, for minor stuff a pharmacist and in between, when I think we may need prescription meds, it’s the GP.

Something has to give because the current crisis with GPs is already risking lives.

Report
BatteryPowerGnat · 06/02/2024 18:37

TheShellBeach · 06/02/2024 13:04

I've never met a pharmacist whose opinion I'd trust.

Pharmacists are highly trained. A master degree after 4 years of intensive study.
After graduation they spend a year as a pre registration pharmacist supervised by a senior pharmacist. They have to meet all the practical criteria during this time and pass 2 tough exams so they can be a registered pharmacist.
Five years of study working. Not much less than a doctor.
Many also undertake further study and gain a post graduate diploma in pharmacy practice.

Report
Sunnnybunny72 · 06/02/2024 18:41

We have local pharmacists taking blood pressures over thick jumpers and from people literally just from the gym.
They get paid for every one they do.
We also have patients coming for travel vaccines on the back of what the 'travel trained' pharmacists say they need. Very often incorrect or missing something.

Report
LadyWithLapdog · 06/02/2024 18:42

It’s a different type of training, though.

Report
Sunnnybunny72 · 06/02/2024 18:42

Also had a patient today who's gone with a blocked ear. They told her to start putting olive oil in. Never even looked in her ear!!

Report
alpenguin · 06/02/2024 18:43

I was sat waiting for a prescription with a bunch of clinically vulnerable elderly
women (they do love sharing their ailments) when a man came in complaining of severe pain , swelling and a rash on his arm. It’s clearly shingles but pharmacist told him a story of her chillblanes and sent him away with hydrocortisone cream and told to wear gloves when it’s cold.

The fact these people are not medically trained means it is a disaster waiting to happen. Pharmacists know medicines but they can’t be expected to know illnesses and symptoms. It takes doctors years to learn that skill and clinical nurse practitioners just as long. Pharmacists either need appropriate training or they should not be used in this way.

Report
LadyWithLapdog · 06/02/2024 18:45

Agree @alpenguin

Report
Berlioz23 · 06/02/2024 18:49

@Sunnnybunny72 is there more to that story, as unless there’s pain or they’ve been sticking stuff down their ears, surely that’s just earwax and patients have beeen putting olive oil down their ears for decades with no problem without anybody looking down them.

Report
TheShellBeach · 06/02/2024 18:52

BatteryPowerGnat · 06/02/2024 18:37

Pharmacists are highly trained. A master degree after 4 years of intensive study.
After graduation they spend a year as a pre registration pharmacist supervised by a senior pharmacist. They have to meet all the practical criteria during this time and pass 2 tough exams so they can be a registered pharmacist.
Five years of study working. Not much less than a doctor.
Many also undertake further study and gain a post graduate diploma in pharmacy practice.

They're not trained in the nuances of diagnosis though.

And they can't refer patients to specialists.

Nor so they have the patients' notes in front of them.

There's going to be a few disasters before this is stopped.

Report
Berlioz23 · 06/02/2024 18:57

It’s worked for years in Scotland and been highly praised. That’s the thing everyone now thinks they’ve got something a specialist needs to see, a pharmacist knows very well when they need to refer. Yes they’ll be a few anecdotal instances where this has failed, but that’s true for all HCPs.

Report
TempestTost · 06/02/2024 19:08

RedPinkPeach · 06/02/2024 12:58

I think it depends if we are trying to make healthcare more accessible overall or trying to divert it from the GP. I’m hoping Im making sense, like if this is a bonus rather than a replacement then it should be fine. But if, like OP, people who ought to see a GP are getting fobbed off with a pharmacist it’s going to get worse. Things like UTI’s really ought to have a sample sent off for culture too. I have had infections that have been resistant in several occasions. It’s just days more suffering and needless antibiotic use.

The thing with UTIs is debatable.

A culture generally takes a few days, so typically the gp gives you antibiotics anyway to start off with. By the time the results of the culture get back and read, it's often perfectly obvious if the UTI has cleared up or not. So it can be a waste of lab time to do it routinely.

As long as certain guidelines are followed - to see a gp if you've never had a UTI before, are under a certain age, this is a subsequent infection within a short period of time, having the pharmacist do it should be fine. It's a lifesaver for people like me who get three UTIs a year and have a bugger hard time getting in to see a GP at all.

Report
TempestTost · 06/02/2024 19:12

Generally though OP - I tend to agree. I think it's ok for pharmacists to do certain things but it's limited.

Report
CurlyhairedAssassin · 06/02/2024 19:12

noblegiraffe · 06/02/2024 13:35

All the pharmacies near us have closed down. Who are all these pharmacists with spare time to do extra stuff to patch up for the failings of the government?

They keep trying to shove more stuff on schools too when we don’t have the capacity.

Yes, quite a number are closing down near me too. At my usual pharmacy in the Tesco near me, you used to be able to take your prescription there, or check the electronic one had arrived, do your shop and then go back and it would be ready for you. Gradually the past year they've taken longer and longer for it to be ready so that you have to go back another day. Then often part of the prescription you want isn't in so you have to go back a third time. Or it's in ointment format rather than cream, or there's 10 tablets less because they didn't have the pack size you want. etc etc. Just a gradual slip in standards.

Then last week I went in and there was a sign on their desk saying that they now need 5-7 days' notice to prepare your prescription. This is due to a couple of Boots pharmacies nearby closing.

If you can't even get your prescription items in a timely manner, how the hell do they think that pharmacists will have enough time to do all the extra stuff that this government wants them to do, due to the lack of access to GPs?

I have never known such poor service. I think we are all going to have to face the fact that in the not too distant future people with enough money are going to have pay to see a private GP and get their prescribed medication from online chemists. The ones who don't have enough money will be on their own.

I think we're all going to have to really take care of our own health needs because our health service is rapidly falling apart. Learn how to monitor our general day to day health: how to take your own blood pressure, buy a BP monitor, buy an oximeter, a digital thermometer. Learn first aid, how to do CPR etc etc. Know where your nearest public defibrillator is. Plan what to do if your granny falls and breaks her hip outside in the freezing cold and the ambulance service says there's no ambulances available for 10 hours. We are on our own, except in dire emergencies and even then you have to cross your fingers that they can manage at A&E.

Report
Sunnnybunny72 · 06/02/2024 19:15

Berlioz23 · 06/02/2024 18:49

@Sunnnybunny72 is there more to that story, as unless there’s pain or they’ve been sticking stuff down their ears, surely that’s just earwax and patients have beeen putting olive oil down their ears for decades with no problem without anybody looking down them.

'Surely' this, 'maybe' that. Just have a look. It takes less than ten seconds.
They could have a perforation or a foreign body.
It's sloppy practice not to, to cover yourself if nothing else.

Report
Berlioz23 · 06/02/2024 19:20

@Sunnnybunny72 surely adults tend not to have foreign body’s down their ear canals unless they use ear bud but you’d ask about that, if a child sure who knows what they might stick down. Also with a perforation, it would be highly unlikely the ear would feel blocked if they hadn’t had pain a few days earlier, due to otitis media. An otoscope examination does not take 10s, most people don’t even go to the pharmacy for ear wax, they just buy it at home bargains…

Report
Abbimae · 06/02/2024 19:20

The parmacist where I go is awful. If I go to buy anything they will give me inquisition then refuse. Husband could walk in and buy anything. I therefore hold out no hope for this new scheme.

Report
Allchangename354 · 06/02/2024 19:29

As in all fields good and bad pharmacists. A lot are closing though. If the system works well in Wales and Scotland im jo more worried than the alternative of a long wait for gp appointment for a non urgent condition.

I don’t know when they will have rthe time for the new work. I worry that if it is more lucrative it will be at the expense of dispensing other prescriptions. I rely on my repeat prescriptions and gp will only allow one week before order. They are so busy that I need to call a couple of days ahead to make sure they have the drugs and don’t need me to get a change to the prescription from the GP (eg capsules not tablets available). They are for epilepsy so I’m very worried about missing doses.

Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Fuckmyliferightnow · 06/02/2024 19:30

I took my son to the pharmacist for an infection and had to be referred back to GP as they weren't allowed to prescribe oral antibiotics. Total waste of time!

Report
viques · 06/02/2024 19:32

In my gp practice there is regularly a pharmacist doing routine appointments for things like medication reviews. Works fine.

Report
Despair132 · 06/02/2024 19:37

This is what you get with too many extra people. Amazes me people don’t understand this even today on the news they act dumbfounded that there was a mile long queue out of new dentist and saying it’s nhs problem, underfunding etc no it’s simple math more people same amount of dentists equals more people per dentist so not enough spaces. as most new arrivals are not contributing at all it just going to get worse with the population expected to increase 10% by 2036 which will likely be more than that as they underestimated it on the last census. I just find it funny people are starting to notice the cracks and it’s too late to reverse it. This what you get voting with your feelings.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.