Private prescriptions are a pain in the neck! The vast majority of prescriptions we receive are NHS prescriptions and they are straightforward. Usually the instructions are straightforward, if customers pay, the price is standard – always £9.35 for each medication. They just cut down all the calculations and extra work.
Some private prescriptions are anything but straightforward! Often they are handwritten, and almost impossible to read. Sometimes we have to ring the prescriber to ask what their prescription says. I wish they could just use a computer to produce prescriptions.
Sometimes the private prescription is for an unusual medication, not available on the NHS. The cost of some medicines can be hundreds of pounds. The customer is always keen to know the price before we dispense their prescription, only – we only know the price after we have dispensed it. It is so frustrating when they change their mind after we have dispensed it. We then have to reverse the dispensing. Twice as much work, and pointless because the customer has decided to go and ask other pharmacies to do the same thing.
Whenever a customer appears with a private prescription, my heart sinks a little.
The latest situation we seem to be facing in the Pharmacy? We have had a number of patients that just seem….well…”lost”. They talk to us about minor ailments and aches. But when we ask them questions, their symptoms are so confusing we have to refer them to the Pharmacist.
When the Pharmacist tries to make sense of what they are reporting to us, it seems most likely that their symptoms are brought on by stress. It has been a stressful year, so that is no surprise.
We were talking about it last week. So many of our patients seem to be neglected. They have not been able to have the occasional ten minute appointment with their GP over the past twelve months. They stumble into the Pharmacy looking clueless. They know they don’t feel right, but they have no idea what could be causing it.
Our role is now involving a lot more reassurance to our customers that the NHS cares about them and wants to help them. But wow, it is so time-consuming. It is really challenging to give half an hour to a customer that needs to talk when you have forty prescriptions to dispense before customers arrive to collect their medications.
We are trying to get that balance right, but it is challenging. We are all huge believers that sometimes, a little kindness can make a huge difference to the welfare of our customers.
Best way to start the week is with an early night on a Sunday (after taking a bi-weekly covid test). Then my habit for as long as I can remember is an early rise on a Monday morning. I can get a lot done it that time.
If I tidy up after the weekend, the rest of the week seems easier. I work out on a Monday morning, get my heart racing and blood pumping. I get to work early – boss is pleased with me. Work goes more smoothly. Sleep routine sorted for the rest of the week.
Work is always busy on a Monday, but starting early and feeling sharp makes a difference. We have loads of prescriptions landing on our screens from at least four main GP surgeries in the area. We have a delivery to organize. There is always a lot to do. But getting a head-start feels great.
In a burst of enthusiasm for the new year, I had a go at early morning runs all of last week. Yeah – it’s not gonna happen.
Missing sports – basketball and football. Missing going out clubbing. Missing the gym. Oh well – is it what it is. I have weights I use at home and I’m trying to walk at least the basic 10,000 steps a day. I just don’t wanna feel like a vegetable.
What are you doing to stay in shape and keep fit during these lockdowns?