Friday, August 31, 2007


I’ve been really busy today, along with the dispensary manager interviewing for three new members of dispensary staff.

The positions are to cover maternity leave, replace the dispensary assistant who prepares our dosette boxes and who has just announced she’s leaving (big blow this one!), and a new member of staff to really develop our collection and delivery service and ultimately repeat dispensing.

We just advertised the positions in the shop since the owner strongly feels that he wants to continue employing local people. We had 12 applicants and selected 6 for interview based on the CVs.

I devised a standard set of questions for each candidate and I think we have agreed on the 3 that we will offer the positions too. So fingers crossed and I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stand and deliver

A couple of weeks ago someone asked a question about our collection and delivery service and how we prevent possible abuse of the delivery service. My answer is below and I’m also posting it here since you may find it useful or have further comments to add:

In terms of policing our delivery service, we seem to do three things in the pharmacy which makes it run fairly smoothly. We:

* Charge a nominal charge if a patient requires more than one delivery a week.

* We don’t guarantee a delivery time and just say between ‘4-6pm’ for example. This isn’t a problem for the truly housebound patients, but we find that the more mobile patients prefer to collect their prescriptions rather than wait round for a delivery (since we won’t push it through the letter box or deliver it to a neighbour!!).

* If we think someone is trying it on then we will ask them again if there is no way that the script can be collected since their delivery will take up a slot that may be needed by a vulnerable housebound person.

We have always openly advertised this service and deliver between 9-11am and 4-6pm so it does take up quite a bit of staff time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Well done LPC!

Well today we finally received the agreed PCT-wide SLA for supervised methadone and buprenorphine. Well done to the LPC for pushing this one through.

Haven’t had a chance to read it in any great detail yet, but we can’t start providing the service until we receive the necessary accreditation by doing the relevant CPPE distance learning pack.

So I’m off to order my copy tonight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

To show we care

I’m still really enjoying using the Care at the Chemist scheme. Earlier this week I supplied a non-sedating antihistamine to a 10 year old boy who had been given a repeat prescription for his ‘usual hayfever tablets’ of chlorphenamine.

Now I really didn’t see the point of making a 10 year old child drowsy at school, so I discussed this with mum and supplied an alternative on the Care at the Chemist scheme.

She came back in today to say that this has been a great success and that she would continue to use the scheme in the future.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Further interventions

Here’s a couple of good clinical interventions that I have made this week:

• The lady who had just been issued with a new Serevent inhaler and was going to stop using the brown one and the blue one, and only use the Serevent as a prn reliever. So I explained that she must continue to use the brown one regularly, start to use the Serevent regularly, and carry on using the blue reliever prn.

• The man who was allergic to penicillin and had been prescribed a 2 week course of erythromycin along with his regular felodipine mr 10mg. On ringing his GP I suggested that he write me another script for a 2 week supply of felodipine mr 5mg since it seemed sensible to halve the dose of this drug while taking the erythromycin. ‘Now that’s a good idea’, said the GP and off I went to sort it out.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Within reason

Remember I told you last week (see Beyond reason) that I had one of those really frustrating situations with a couple who were convinced we had wrongly dispensed some Calcichew D3 Forte to them?

Well they came in today and asked to see me, so out I went with my ‘boxing gloves’ at the ready only to be met by a very apologetic pair who said they had gone home and had found the correct tub of calcichew that we had recently dispensed for them.

They then quietly asked if they could continue to get their prescriptions dispensed at the pharmacy since they said they had been ‘out of order the last time we spoke’.

I said that of course they could and thanked them for their apology. It made me feel good about the world today.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

One hundred a week

Today I dispensed a prescription for 100 co-codamol 30/500 to a lady who has been getting increasing amounts on prescription.

When I checked her records I could see that she had recently started to get 100 tablets a week which is way over the recommended limit of 8 tablets a day. When I queried this with her she happily told me that she was only taking 8 a day, and that her dad was also taking them.

So later I rang her GP to check he knew what was going on since this surgery has a really good ‘over-use’ alert on their system and I was surprised that it hadn’t been picked up at their end.

I told the GP what the patient had said and pointed out how often these scripts were being issued. When he checked he said that they hadn’t picked up on this due to the way in which the drug had been entered onto the system. He was very grateful for the call.