Asthma UK community forum
10,130 members16,765 posts

Unable to get inhalers due to admin issues!


I had a review at the start of this month. A week later, I tried to renew a prescription online and the form wouldn't let me, stating that I need a review. I went to the health centre and the receptionist didn't speak great English, so I think she just assumed I couldn't use the online system. She told me to go back the next day to collect the prescription and that she would sort it then. When I collected the prescription, it still said that I never a review. Another receptionist told me it would be updated the next day. On Monday I tried to renew the prescription for my other inhaler and it still won't let me. When I spoke to them they said there's nothing they can do and I'd have to have another review. I tried to make an appointment with the nurse but there isn't one for 3 weeks, by which time I will have moved back home from uni. There are no appointments with the doctors for 2 weeks. I plan on moving home next Friday but my inhaler runs out on Friday. Given that when I register back home I won't be allowed prescriptions until I've seen a doctor, I could be without a preventer for 3 weeks whist having hay fever.

I'm really not sure what to do. The reception staff have decided it's non urgent so won't let me see a doctor. I've tried to explain that I don't need a review, it just needs someone to tick the box saying that I've had one but the staff ignore that. Likewise when I asked if I could just have a phone appointment they said not because it's a review. Feels like I'm going around in circles!

Any suggestions?

3 Replies

You need to contact the practice manager and explain that there seems to have been administrative error. Point out that you have had a review recently but that his does not seem to have been registered on the system and that as a result you cannot get your medication. Because of this you are at risk of being an asthmatic without the medication that you have been put on by a doctor as there is no appointment slot available for two weeks.

If, after all this you still have a problem, ask the practice manager if he/she is willing to take the risk of a patient registered with them having an asthma attack because they failed to meet their duty of care. I know this seems a bit excessive, but sometimes you need to be this direct. An asthma attack is, after all, a life threatening condition.


Phone up and tell them you need an emergency/same day appointment. You are not obliged to tell the administrative staff what the appointment is for if you don't want to. This might be the only way to bypass the inefficient/unhelpful administrative staff. Once with your doctor they will be able to tick the magic box immediately.


I had similar issues last year; a letter to the practice manager helped sort things out.

This year a similar problem recurred; I wrote a letter of complaint and had an appointment with the GP who specializes in asthma; problem all sorted now although they did blame 'admin error' when this year it really was a 'clinical error'!

Good Luck


You may also like...