You Couldn’t Make It Up
Every month, I have fourteen prescription items, twelve of which are gluten free food products. Were it not for the pre-payment certificate, for which I pay £10 a month, it would cost me a fortune. As it is, the gluten free stuff I get on prescription would cost me around £30 if I were to buy similar items available in supermarkets. It’s a good deal.
Having so many items, most of which need ordering in, makes getting the items a pain in the bum though. I would visit the doctors’ surgery to put in my prescription request, return 3 days later to collect the prescription and take it next door to the pharmacy, who would then order the needed items. Some would arrive the next day, but the bread could take a week, depending on whether or not we made the baking deadline. So I would typically go back a week later and collect everything. The surgery is about 3 miles away, so it notched up a not insignificant number of miles too.
So when Asda added my Dr surgery to their list of surgeries they collected prescriptions from, I decided to sign up. After filling in a bit of paperwork, it was all set. They would order my repeat prescriptions, collect them, order in the items and call me when they were ready to collect. Asda is a mile away, so it was a much better use of my time. That was November.
And here we are near the end of March and I am still waiting for this marvellous feat to happen. The first month, they ordered everything and forgot to let me know it was ready. When I got it, my fresh bread was out of date.
The next month they remembered to call, but when I collected it, one of the medicines I have to take every day was missing. They had forgotten to order it. But they had included another medicine which I did not order. I was prescribed it once a year ago. It made me dreadfully ill and has never been prescribed since.
Last month, they remembered the medicines, but forgot the spaghetti. And the bread, which I collected as soon as they called me, had just one day left on its best before date. There were 8 loaves.
This month, they forgot to call me. I popped in this afternoon to see if it was ready. It was. Has been for a week. But they forgot to order the bread. And the second of the two medicines I take was missing. And they had the spaghetti I had “failed” to collect last month. Oh, and they had kindly included that other medicine that I don’t take and hadn’t ordered. Again.
So this time, whilst I was there, they ordered the bread. “It’ll be here tomorrow” they told me confidently. I questioned this – the company that makes it only bakes twice a week. You have to order by Tuesday morning for a Friday delivery. “Oh, we don’t get it from them. We use a supplier. That’s why it has a short date on it. Sometimes it arrives out of date, and we have to send it back”. Lovely. Can you just get it straight from the manufacturer, like every other pharmacy I’ve ever known? Apparently not. They also called the surgery to try and get a prescription for the missing medicine. Apparently it was not available on repeat. I had to see the doctor again before I could have it. But I did see the doctor about it, just last month. He put it on repeat whilst I was there. I saw him do it. But they were not able to give me a prescription for it until I visited the doctor. This was great news, since I was on my way home from the doctor when I popped in to pick up my prescriptions!
So I took what they had for me and came home, phoned the surgery to find out what was going on. Apparently, that medicine is never put on repeat. But, as I explained, I’ve had it on repeat for the last year. I saw the doctor last month to fulfil the requirement to keep it on repeat. He put it on repeat. “Someone has taken it off repeat again. I’ll see if it can be put back on repeat next week.”
“Oh, and there’s a prescription for it here for you. Will Asda be collecting it?”