Woolpit Health Centre, near Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, reminds patients to be kind and respectful to staff as it talks of pharmacy pressures
A pharmacy customer has spoken of his frustration at having to wait 100 minutes for a prescription.
Retired journalist Bob Riches, 67, from Great Ashfield, said on November 9 he arrived at 1.20pm and queued for 50 minutes, only to be told when he got to the front of the queue to sit and wait as the prescription for his wife – which was issued by the health centre – wasn’t ready and would have to be made up.
After a further 50 minutes, he says he asked counter staff what was going on and two minutes later the medication appeared.
Dr Daniel James, a partner at Woolpit Health Centre, said they had invested in new technology and the ongoing recruitment of staff within the pharmacy team to try and address workload issues.
Mr Riches said: “It’s frustrating when you have to wait 100 minutes and it’s still unacceptable, but I take on board what they have said that they are trying to improve.”
Dr James said though they were busy at present it would be ‘extremely unusual’ for a patient to wait as long as 100 minutes to collect a prescription, but they would investigate this.
He said: “Our pharmacy is very busy at this time and we are immensely proud of how our fantastic team are coping with the increased workload to offer the best care to our patients.
“This increased workload is a consequence of national difficulties with recruiting pharmacy staff, national shortages of medications and additional pressure from recent closures of other pharmacies in our area.
“In addition we have had increased levels of staff sickness in recent weeks; in common with most employers.
“To address these issues, we have recently invested in new technology in form of a 24-hour medication collection point, new cutting-edge tills and further investment in IT technology and systems in our pharmacy.
“We have also significantly invested in the ongoing recruitment of staff within the pharmacy team.
“During these times of pressure across NHS services, we would like to remind patients to treat our staff with kindness and respect as we all work to our utmost to provide the standard of care we would wish for ourselves and our own families.”