Waste of time/money (just a wee rant)

When my last lot of meds arrived (I order them online) there was a memo inside saying I was due my routine yearly medication review and I needed to make an appointment with my gp. I get a few repeat prescriptions from my gp: monthly thyroid meds and (rarely) steroid ointment.

I rang up and was given a surgery appointment. Because I have nothing to show the gp (why would they need to see me in the flesh?) I asked if I could have a phone appointment. Receptionist was fine with that (my last meds review was done over the phone), I got my phone appointment for maybe two or three weeks from that date.

Gp rang for our appointment today and said that I was asked to make an appointment for my meds review now because I had had my last one last July, but now they have changed the system and everyone will have their review in the month of their birth (Oct for me). So he asked me if I was on the meds on my records (yes, no change) and said I could ring up and schedule a blood test, then reschedule my meds review.

So is it just me or was this all a waste of time and money? And now I will have another appointment in Oct which will require me to go in and sit across from the gp for what?

I had to remind the gp that I needed another scrip or the pharmacy wouldn't dispense more meds until after my meds review.

I know worse things happen at sea but people are having their meds taken from them, denied appointments with specialists etc and yet they're so relaxed about messing about like this.

9 Replies


Look at it another way, your meds review is delayed until October. Thyroid levels should be tested at least annually but I agree it seems unnecessary to have a face to face to discuss the blood results and review which could be done on the phone.

Clutter I'm not sure how that works to my advantage and it doesn't negate the fussing and timewasting now. Meds reviews (in my experience) are a box-ticking exercise to say 'Are you still taking your meds?' If they want to change or eliminate meds they will do it now or in Oct or some time in between.

Mainly I am resentful that they never miss an opportunity to tell you when they feel you're wasting time/money. So when they send me round the houses on this kind of issue it makes me roll my eyes very hard indeed.

I could also live without the anxiety of doing this (making and waiting for the appt) a second time.


Meds reviews have always been a tick box exercise but I don't see why they can't be done via telephone consultation. It's actually annoying that some patients have to accept a telephone consultation when they'd prefer face to face but GPs can make time for face to face when it comes to a review. I suspect they were introduced to ensure patients weren't parked on unsuitably high or low dose medications forever and a day and continued to take their medication and to cut down on polypharmacy and waste. A lot of patients have automatic repeat prescription medication arriving whether they need them or not. I was shocked at how much medicine I had to return to the pharmacy for disposal after my aunt's death.

Yes, at the risk of making my point in the most confusing way :-) I said that ('tick-box exercise) because I thought you were suggesting they'd use it to 'adjust' (ie take away) my meds, which I suspect is not the usual purpose of the review. I do agree it needs doing and is a useful exercise to avoid what you found when your aunt died (sorry for your loss), but when they faff about with the most minor admin details it doesn't give me confidence.

I don't really mind whether or not I need to go to the surgery to sit eyeball-to-eyeball with a gp (who has never laid eyes on me ahem), but I don't fancy doing it for no reason. They may want to take my bp and pulse (all normal lol) and get the vapours about how unorthodox, costly and dangerous my current meds are (yk, the ones that make life worth living) but if they just want to tick a box it seems like the phone is good enough.

Anyway, if someone spots my meds and decides they should be discontinued I doubt they'll wait for Nov to do that.

But the point of writing the post was fgs why didn't the receptionist know or see that 'the system has changed' and my appt should be in Oct?? They ask you your birth date before they ask your name, it isn't a mystery.

Just ranting a bit.

Hi Punctured bicycle

I have just switched on my laptop and seen your message.....what a farce this whole thing is.......I would never have believed this before when I was healthy and not part of this dreadful system..... you are not going mad....I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent and professional person yet like you, cannot see the sense in this rather badly thought out method of managing patients! You have my sympathy...and I am sure that when my surgery adopts the same methods....which it undoubtedly will as part of the NHS (NOW HOPELESSLY SICK!) system.......I will be seeking yours!!

Shon x

I was told in February that I needed to have a review of the items on my repeat prescription. I needed to see a doctor about something anyway so I hoped to kill two birds with one stone.

I mentioned my meds and the need for a prescription review in the appointment, then next time I went online to order a new prescription my repeats hadn't been authorised. So I phoned up and mentioned about seeing the doctor in February and I thought that had covered it. I was told, oh you have to see the doctor you are registered with. What? Nobody told me that! And it takes weeks to get an appointment to see my named doctor - about 6 weeks I think it was. I also went on holiday. All in all it took me about 4 or 5 months to get my repeat prescription re-authorised. So in the meantime when my meds ran out I had to beg every time for a prescription.

So, you have my sympathies. I know how utterly stupid the system is.

Oh blimey what a nightmare. I can just imagine what a time suck that must have been. How ridiculous. And they just will not take responsibility! None of that was your fault but you are the one who is punished.

It reminds me of what I have to do when I go away to visit my mum. I used to go for six weeks, which meant I needed a top-up of meds to last the whole time. You can't imagine how hard it was to get more than one month of meds. Until now of course, when my pharmacy does two months of meds as a matter of course. So it used to be something they could not/would not do for, I guess, no good reason.

I stay away from my surgery as much as possible, not because it is terrible (it is generally not bad) but because it can turn Kafkaesque so quickly. There is one wonderful doctor there who once wrote me a scrip then and there because she happened to be passing at reception and handed me my test results, which showed I needed a dose increase. Can you imagine how hard it is to get an appt with her?

Thanks for validating my rant. :-)

Kafkaesque - an excellent word to use in relation to dealing with the NHS!

My husband has been seeing a very clever Prof. Of Rheumatology on the NHS for 10 years. Every 3 months his GP orders him to the surgery to chat about how it's going. At every visit he asks what the point of the visit is; he is getting treatment from a specialist, and the GP can see his treatment protocol whenever she likes on screen. She advises that if he doesn't go to visit her she doesn't get paid. And we wonder why the NHS screams constantly for more money. Rant over. 🤕

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