British Lung Foundation
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GP versus Pharmacist (and me!)

Thought you may all like to know about a little battle we had today in work lol!

Lady came in with a prescription for her partner, issued by a hospital consultant that he had visited earlier. There was no quantity and it was not dated. Now the quantity was not a major problem as it is the pharmacists clinical decision as to how much to give. The problem was the date-or lack of. Without a date it is invalid. Cannot be issued. All docs know this.

Pharmacist tried calling the consultant at the hospital but as it was gone 5.30pm he had gone. They couldn't do anything. So. Dilema. We had to tell the lady that she would need to go back to the hospital tomorrow (an hour away) to get the prescription ammended. That would mean, no medication for her partner and a very unecassry journey and delay in taking the meds, let alone the stress it would cause him. Well we didn't. The pharmacist decided she would go into the surgery (happens to be next door) and see if the GP would help as this was the patients practice. She relayed everything to the receptionist who went to see the GP. As she couldn't wait, the pharmacist returned and I then went in to the surgery to wait for a reply.

It went like this...."He said it is nothing to do with us as it is a hospital prescription so don't know why you brought it to us in the first place. It is common sense the quantity is 28 for one month supply and if it is just a date thats needed, here, he's written it down for you."

On return to the pharmacy, and relaying said message, my pharmacist, bless her was mortified. Now the GP had definitely invalidated the prescription as he was not allowed to date it and put his initials to it. What she had asked was for him to issue a new prescription himself. I asked her if she wanted me to go back and try again and so I did. Well, it was like a red rag to a bull!

Upon my return, I spoke nicely but firmly to the staff mainly asking her to ask the GP if he really understood the reason why the prescription was needed blah blah blah. She promptly returned with a new prescription in hand and a rather sheepish look on her face. I wish I had seen the Gp's face to be honest.

Patient happy. We are happy. Result!

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8 Replies

Good job. All it takes is a little common sense but sometimes.... ;)

As someone said to me recently 'if sense was common there'd be more of it about' !!!

well done to both you and the pharmacist - what a good result!

I had a similar problem, the specialist told me he was giving me a certain medication to take home with me until the GP received his letter, then I could get it on prescription. I told him that I cannot use that medication as it causes me problems, and it should be in my notes. He checked, agreed and altered it to another medication, and I went to the pharmacy to collect it.

Two weeks later I rang the GP to make sure the prescription was ready so the pharmacy could pick it up and deliver it. When it came it was the medication I had told the specialist I could not use, he had not altered the notes when I told him I could not take the medication as it gave me problems.

I rang the GP who said there was nothing he could do as it had come from the hospital, they gave me the specialists secretary's 'phone number and I rang her and told her what had happened.

She said she would check his notes and have a word but he was in clinic so she did not know how long it would take. I rang the chemist to see if they could issue the medication as I had only a few days left but they said they couldn't until they had the correct prescription.

The secretary, bless her, rang me back and apologised and said she had a letter from the specialist and she would fax it straight through to the GP. I rang the GP and they said they would have the prescription ready for the chemist to collect.

I would have thought that it was the GP staff who should have been ringing the hospital and not the patient.

Another mistake occurred when my husband saw the COPD specialist, when the letter to the GP had been typed up by the medical secretary, it stated my husband had HEART FAILURE but it should have read HAY FEVER. If we had not received a copy we would never have known of the mistake and it would have been on his records for the rest of his life.

The mistakes that are being made are horrendous.

When my husband was in hospital recently,a technician came to test his diabetic levels, my husband does not have diabetes, he had the wrong patient. A nurse had written 'Laxatives to be given' written on his notes, they had written it on the wrong patients notes. One nurse called my husband Derek and wanted to take some bloods, my husband is not called Derek they had the wrong patient. If my husband did not have his wits about him god knows what would have happened, it is all very frightening.

Sorry about the rant but surely something is wrong with the system when patients have to pick up on all these errors.

It seems that common sense prevailed in the end thank goodness. Well done all! xxxx

I was in hospital following a heart attack and having been stabilised and tested was ready to be sent to another hospital for a by pass.

I was sitting in my chair and a young nurse approached me with a small clear plastic glass which was merrily fizzing away. My suspicions were aroused and I asked her what it was and she said aspirin and I pointed to my wrist which had a red band on it saying Aspirin allergy. I get anaphylactic shock (can cause death) if I take aspirin. She ran away and I decided not to say anything further since she came back later looking very sorry. I think she learned her lesson. As she was only just qualified she should have been supervised.



At least it done but hussle on your part..

Brilliant. One up for common sense. Good on ya.


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