The strains on the NHS at the moment have been well documented. What isn’t as well documented however is how pharmacies are experiencing major problems of their own.
Mark Tami MP has been approached by workers at pharmacies in Flintshire who have highlighted the severe pressure that they are working under.
Mr Tami was made aware of their daily regime which starts with dispensing and supervising the provision of methadone to drug addicts before dispensing 400 items of medicine a day. They also have to stock check, deal with deliveries, dispose of out of date products, make blister packs and make small diagnoses of their own. Despite their commitment they are often the victim of abuse throughout the day
Mark Tami has urged constituents to be patient and respectful when dealing with pharmacists. ?Constituents needing prescriptions should order at least one week before, this is to ensure more suitable preparation time for getting prescriptions ready.
Local pharmacists have also raised their concerns about needless phone calls, often people asking when their next prescription is due. When this happens they have to cancel the prescription that they are processing for a customer to go into the caller‘s details and then start all over again. Regarding this Mark Tami said, “It is of paramount importance that constituents take responsibility for their medication to avoid any unnecessary calls which would affect the efficiency of the pharmacist’s service.”
Mark Tami added; “It was very alarming to hear about the strain pharmacies are under. I wish constituents to work with me to be Patient Pharmacy Patients.
“Pharmacists do an amazing job for very little reward; it is not simply a case of getting it off the shelf and sticking a label on it. It’s not right that they come face to face with daily anger and abuse, even if it is just as little as tutting when there is a long queue.
“Ordering online prescriptions is an excellent way to take control of your prescriptions without limiting the efficiency of local pharmacies. Constituents should also be aware that pharmacists cannot sell products for pets and animals.
“Local pharmacies are of great importance to our local community and we should all respect and be thankful for the service that they provide.”
It should also be noted that one of the biggest issues for pharmacies is wastage. Mr Tami has therefore encouraged constituents to order simply what they need as once an item has been dispensed, it cannot be reused if it is later left at the premises.
There is also a misassumption that pharmacies are profiteering. However, the pharmacists stated they save the NHS millions every week with the various services they provide on their behalf. Firstly, they buy the medicines themselves and at the end of the month they send the prescriptions to the NHS authority who then refund the exact amount of money they paid their supplier.