As of 1st May, the practice will no longer accept telephone requests for medication.
This change has been implemented in the interests of patient safety as a result of a review of our procedures in response to patient and staff feedback.
A practice review of telephone requests for medication showed an average of 44 requests / day. We are receiving an increasing number of electronic requests for medication either via e-mail or using our website.
Daily telephone calls to request medication are numerous and often at times when our limited number of phone lines are under enormous pressure due to a high volume of calls requesting appointments and / or home visits. It is important to us that we have sufficient telephone capacity to deliver a clinically safe service to those patients in need of immediate medical attention. Electronic requests can be dealt with by the reception team when they have sufficient capacity to process demands without interruption in an accurate manner.
The use of the answering machine for patients to leave requests for medication is also the source of frequent drug ordering errors and confusion. As a result of unclear messages, poor pronunciation of drug names and the absence of essential information – reception staff spend large quantities of their time clarifying orders with patients. Often, this process is hindered by the fact that the contact telephone numbers we hold on record are obsolete. Reception staff may need to make several time consuming attempts to successfully contact a patient regarding a medication order.
As a result of the above, we no longer feel that we can continue to offer this service to patients from 1st May. This will apply at ALL practice sites.
From this date, medication requests will be accepted via the following routes ONLY :-
- Handing the completed repeat medication ordering slip (attached to prescriptions) in to the medical practice or the pharmacy. UPDATE: Patients are now able to hand prescription requests in to the shop in Cockburnspath for delivery back to the Coldingham dispensary
- Using the practice website online facility by clicking here
- E-mailing a request including your name, date of birth, address and a daytime telephone contact number plus a list of the drug items requested.
Patients can help the practice by ensuring that the contact details we hold on their records are correct. Please note that there is a facility to “amend contact info” on the practice website using the designated tab located at the bottom, right corner of our home page. You may also advise the practice of amended contact details the next time you attend for an appointment.
In the future, the practice will be looking at a trial of on-line patient access to their medical record and also a text reminder service. Information regarding these developments will be posted on the website in due course.