I really don’t understand the thinking behind the NHS in practice stopping doctors prescribing more than one month’s pills in one go. Now I don’t pay for prescriptions, I’ve no financial incentive in wanting this changed, but this week my local pharmacist did make me wonder.
I have a regular prescription for statins which not even a more healthy weight and lifestyle has been able to reduce the recommendation for. It’s been unchanged at a low dose for some years now and every year I get a set of blood tests to check. So every four weeks I get a box of 28 pills.
There’s a branch of Boots in my village – one pharmacist and one shop assistant, so not a large branch. Boots the corporate parent pushes their we’ll get repeat prescriptions and text you when they’re ready service. It’s convenient, as I walk past the chemist several times a week. The only problem is that they can’t cope.
So yesterday, after yet another failure to notify me that a prescription was ready, I complained. The pharmacist explained that they get 300 prescriptions a day and just can’t keep up, as they can’t send the text (which they effectively do manually) until they’ve prepared and checked the prescription.
So, assuming a good proportion of that 300 prescriptions per day are repeats and constant over a significant period, why not do them 2 or 3 monthly and cut the workload – and frankly the cost to the NHS in admin overhead, which is probably higher than the actual cost of cheap generic statin pills.
When I did pay for prescriptions, I did complain to the GP, who referred me to the regional health authority who bounced the responsibility back to the GP. maybe I’ll have another go.
£20 compensation for stupid banking – from Santander, which makes a change from Lloyds. And, I may say so, a much better experience than with Lloyds. They managed to send me a letter that was in all respects wrong and told me to fix this on online banking by following a series of steps that ended in an entirely function free page. To quote their digital complaints specialist – “I’ll be writing this up to improve the customer experience since yours was, to be honest, terrible.”
What happened was that a few months ago a banner appeared in my statement telling me I’d get 5% cash back if I bought a train ticket on The Trainline. This isn’t a supplier I’d typically use for train tickets since they charge an exorbitant booking fee, but for 5% cash back, I’ll be their customer for the day. So I bought the ticket and got another statement flash to say that I’d got £6.86 cash back. Then today, I got a letter telling me off for crediting the cash back to the credit card account I closed over a year ago. It generously told me that it had this time paid it into the current account (my only account, the one for which the statement advised me of the offer and of its success), but also that I should change the account retailer offers were paid into. Unfortunately those instructions ended in a page that told me I could select the account, but gave me no way of doing so.
The digital complaints specialist was competent in working through their website and suggested I follow another process to correct their (clearly broken) record of my data. That unfortunately ended up in freezing my session on their website. But starting again seemed to confirm that it had worked. And finally, after thanking him for explaining, I said that it shouldn’t really take 40 mins of my time following incorrect instructions in an incorrect letter, so he offered £20.