Philosophy of The Big Society

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Thursday, 30 October 2008

NHS on Usual Form

Got a text from friend this morning, telling me she went to pick up my prescription but it wasn't ready and was advised, by a receptionist, to go back after 2pm today.
She duly went back after 2pm, to be told it wasn't going to be ready till tomorrow afternoon and that I needed to ring the surgery.

And so I did...I asked to speak to the practise manager. Explained to her that I rang the GP on Tuesday (who had told me they would write up the prescription that afternoon and that I could pick it up on Wednesday). Due to my issues with agoraphobia I wasn't able to do that and I asked my friend to pick it up for me. She could only do that today.

The practise manager confirmed that the GP had made out the prescription on Tuesday but that it had got lost. Yes, that seems to be the pattern of behaviour at that practise. Remember the case of the missing blood test results (3 lots of and
sent on 3 different occasions...all of which got lost at the GP's). The practise manager then tried to blame my friend, saying she was asking personal questions about my medication. All my friend did was ask for the prescription. A bit of a set to ensued with the practise manager making excuses about how many prescriptions there are to be dealt with daily. I said "That is not my problem. I am a patient, entitled to a service. I had an agreement with the GP and it hasn't been followed up on".

I also explained that I had a letter from a MH Trust Director clearly placing responsibility for the mistakes made over the blood tests in the GP's domain and that what we have is a pattern of losing things going on. She didn't like that and said she couldn't see that it would be the fault at the GP practise end of things. I said I wanted to talk to her about all this and would be bringing the letter with me for her attention.

Anyway, I ended up going, with my friend, to the GP's because she was stressed from going back and forth to be treated with contempt. When I got there and without even asking for the prescription the receptionist went to it. So I am known there. Ha! Ha! She took a copy of the letter and the manager came out and said that she would be carrying out an investigation. I said "Good". I also thanked her for ensuring the prescription was made up for when I arrived. Not because that was anything special but I do say thank you. Fact that the surgery wasted my friend's and my time doesn't seem to phase them one bit!

Following this, I am now going to reply to the MH Trust saying I have passed their letter on for the GP manager's attention. However there are still some discrepancies between what they say happened and what I actually asked for.

And so it goes...on and on...heading nowhere.


  1. Oh dear, I am having communication problems to supposed to be starting on Depakote but GP not prescribed yet as still not heard anyhting from consultant and can;t take my word for it- (like I would lie for the simple joy of taking that kind of med) Hmm. I'm sure they do it on purpose.

    Anyway glad you stood your ground, and glad you felt able to go out to get prescription as if you were agrophobic would probably be left medless. Not that this would bother them.

  2. Round in circles is a hard journey to keep taking, isn't it. Glad you got your prescription. Reading your tale makes me even more appreciative of my own GP practice.

    Incidentally, was told by my psychiatrist this afternoon that my local CMHTs have all changed and I "should" now be back with the team I was with before I requested a transfer... yes, with teh manager I had such problems with, the one who told me I had all the support I needed and should be able to cope...
    Something of an emotional breakdown ensued, especially when he told me he would no longer be my psychiatrist....
    Am hoping this is not to be the case, else I see a rapid self discharge on the horizon - which might not be the best course of action at this time of year!

  3. I think there are 2 fundamental problems in the NHS

    1) Different sections of it are adverse to communicating with each other

    2) All of it doesn't respond to patients with any level of efficiency or respect.

    As for having to go with friend to get the prescription. I had no choice really. Someone had to sort the damn mess out. Thankfully was tanked up on lozees so wasn't getting migraines or hyperventilating. I was still really pissed off though and I think that message got across.

    Doubt the message about incompetence will make slightest difference. Seems to be rife across the board!

  4. Hi C

    Is this another modernisation programme? Gotta wonder.

    And I wonder if the same North of the county applies to the South. If so I will revert to a CMHT who were very dismissive of me and my illness.

    Hence, MP involvement and new CMHT.

    There is a case for me to stay with the one I am with because Dad is with the local team and I am sort of acting as his carer (particularly in meetings with his MH team). Also I do have a good relationship with my support worker but I doubt her assessment of my needs would be taken into consideration.

    And then there could be a case for me to be discharged on the grounds that I am not recovering to their satisfaction. As in reading their leaflets and having sorted my life out with their problem solving checklist.

    The people who get the most from MH services are the ones who bother them the least or do all the nodding gestures in the right places.

    I can't help myself..nor do I want to in this regard...I stand up for what I think is fair.

    Hiding to nothing everytime!!!

  5. I just got ordered by my Trust to pick up prescriptions for lorazapam from now on from my GP . Was my GP made aware of this arrangement? No. Outcome: Conflict with GP over obtaining prescription . The incompetence is widespread and its matched by a pretty unhealthy contempt for patients!

  6. Hi Anon

    Sounds like a classic case of buck passing to me!

  7. I dunno Mandy. Like you I transferred to a different team because of problems with the team I was assigned to. Am quite scared by the fact that until today I had heard nothing of this - and I read the trust board minutes (as you know) and had not picked it up from there either. no doubt if I had said nothing I would now be with a different consultant and a team with whom my relationship can only be described as problematic in the past. A team, in fact, that my care plan states I wish to have no contact with, ever.
    As to reasons for discharge fromt he service - I think you are as safe as it is possible to be within the organisation, but I also know that they are looking to shed as many service users as possible to raise their scores in the HCC surveys.

    it's all about targets and hitting those rather than meeting needs, as far as I can tell.
    Am very scared just now. Particularly as this comes pretty close to the anniversary of thigs going very pearshaped due to the actions of BLPT.