British Lung Foundation
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IRRITATING! (and Stressful)

Each month I get a reminder to request a repeat prescription from the surgery - to date it has worked very well. I get the email, order the drugs and the prescription is ready to collect 48 hours later. At the beginning of December we went to the Doctors of a medication review and was told categorically that we were managing the condition quite well! However over Christmas my husband was ill and used the emergency ABs and steroids. In the first week of January I remembered to re-order the emergency pack! Being very efficient - it was the first week of the New Year - I thought I would order all the meds together. BIG MISTAKE!

I was ordering the regular inhalers a week early! When I went to collect the prescription there was a note saying my husband needed an urgent medication review with no prescription for inhalers only a prescription for the emergency meds. I explained as nicely and calmly as I could that I had tried to be efficient and could the surgery just hold the prescription and issue it next week when it should have been issued. BUT that just added to the confusion - eventually as no doctor was available, an arrangement was made for the doctor to ring my husband on Monday morning. My husband did receive a phone call - it was the first snowy day here - (actually he hasn't really recovered properly from Christmas, he is still very SOB and of course is very anxious) - to be told by the Doctor that he was using far too many inhalers and he could only have a prescription for one symbicort. He was terribly anxious - he needs the inhalers.

Before tackling the surgery I decided to ring the Respiratory Team and check that his meds 2x puffs of symbicort twice a day, 1x spiriva once a day and 1x puff of bricanyl or ventolin as needed was the correct medication which gave me the confidence to tackle the doctors again! This time I rang and spoke to the practise nurse who has known us for a long time and really helped when my husband has been ill. I explained all to her and she spoke to the Doctor - the prescription was ready at the end of the day! One bit of advise she did give me was to make sure that the meds were still in date - when I looked two of the rescue ventolin are out of date and some of the ventolin nebules. She also said make sure you keep the cupboard up to date with medications. So much for my efficiency!!

11 Replies

I dont have an email reminder. I automatically leave an order five working days before, pick it up and take it to the chemist to be made up. When I pick it up, I check through meds to make sure they are all there before I leave the shop. Any unwanted items can be handed back to the pharmacist on the spot. . It sounds long winded but I need to get out of the house. I have a buggy.

Any omissions, the pharmacist will ring the surgery just around the corner, to complete the prescriptions. When signing the prescriptions not sure how thoroughly the GP checks. Some do and some dont.


You just don't want stressful situations like you encountered, not when you have or care for someone with COPD. We find that the receptionist who has been at the surgery for ages just has to hear my name and I have an appointment or home pack of abs ordered no questions asked but get a new receptionist and you would think I was asking for the crown jewels.

Lib x


I leave it all to my pharmacist. They collect my prescription, deliver the meds to my door and keep the medication list to reorder for me every 4 weeks. If there is anything I don't need in any particular month I ring and let the pharmacy know. For antibios, I ring the surgery and they send the prescription to the pharmacy (next door) who then deliver for me. It works really well.


The pharmacy I use (Cooperative) phone me each month 7 days before my meds are due to ask what is required and if I am due a review they remind me of this as well when they deliver with a note attached to the bag. If as recently happened my meds were changed slightly at the hospital I explained this when they rang and they even sorted out my new requirements. I know that is exemplary service but if one pharmacy can do it why can't others?


Thanks for your replies I think I will look into the pharmacy doing the prescription - that sounds less stressful. TAD xx


Apparently they are in the process of rolling out a system whereby all paper prescriptions will disappear; Drs will sign off prescriptions electronically direct to your nominated pharmacy. This means you won't be able to check the prescription before the chemist gets hold of it. I spy trouble ahead!


That sounds scary! I wouldn't have found out until we needed the damn inhalers! You are right - I spy trouble too! TAD x


That Dr was bang out of line to say that to your husband, bang out of line.

How cruel was that, to tell a man who relies on his inhalers to maintain his breathing that he is restricting his inhalers. I cant think of anything more inappropriate

Even if your husband was overusing them, that was completely the wrong way to go about dealing with it and I think that Dr was lucky your husband didnt go into a full blown panic attack because that would be enough to cause one.

I am so glad you spoke to someone who had some knowledge and some common sense and compassion



When I was telling my sister she spat out a heap of abuse and told me I should have asked the doctor if he had another miracle cure - if my husband was over-using them it wouldn't have been because he didn't need to! As the respiratory team said GPs are general practioners - you are very lucky if you have a good one!


If you have been a bit unsure about your GP on other occasions, I would have a quiet word with your practice nurse to find out if there is an alternative GP at the practice that has a little more empathy and understanding of what respiratory illness does to a person because unless this GP was having a really really bad day (still no excuse though), there is clearly no understanding of the panic that not being able to breath brings.

A GP that tells someone who is in the position where their life giving inhalers are going to be restricted should not be caring for anyone with this type of condition.

I am an ex nurse so would very much see the medics perspective

but on this occasion, there is no perspective other than they were, without question wrong and over using of inhalers or not, they were wrong.

If this alone or this and any other occasions are going to affect the way you or your husband feel you can trust this GP, I would do what you need to do to get on the list of an alternative.

Totally not relating to lung problems, I had a GP who did some inappropriate things with me - actually, he told me I would be a morphine addict all my life (I had needed high dose morphine for complications of crohns) and when I came out of hospital, needed a reducing regime as I had been on it so long.

Despite my making it clear I wanted to get off it asap, that is what he told me and told me he would not trust me and not give me more than a weeks worth at any one time - and then promptly gave me enough to not only see me through my complete 2 month reduction regime but he gave me as much again that I actually gave back to the pharmacist when it was dispensed.

The upshot was, he was inappropriate in how he treated me, he was bang out of line and then he made a serious mistake because had I been what he accused me of, he would have fed me so much morphine, I could have been in real trouble.

I spoke to the practice manager as I could not go back and see this GP after the way he had treated me, they were great and they moved me to another GP

That was 5 years ago and I have never looked back, I have a brilliant GP now who I trust completely and always does what is right for me and always gives the time needed.

You as the patient do have rights and you have the right to have a GP that you can trust and if you have lost that trust because of this, then you are entitled to be moved to another GP

Let us know how things go though



My surgery uses Pharmacy2U My prescription list is on their website (for which you sign in with a password of course) I just tick off what I want, they send the list to the doctor, then the doctor signs it off and I get it in the Royal Mail either the next day or the day after. Very efficient and I don't have to go the four miles to the surgery. They also use a local chemist for collection and delivery of prescriptions but they don't come out as far as me.


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