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West Berkshire pharmacies report delays in supplying repeat prescriptions

Local health watchdog asks customers to highlight issue

Chris Ord

chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886639

West Berkshire pharmacies report delays in supplying repeat prescriptions

CUSTOMERS of pharmacies in West Berkshire are being asked to highlight problems with the supply of repeat prescriptions following reports of delivery issues in the district.

Chief officer at Healthwatch West Berkshire (HHWB) Andrew Sharp has raised concerns over reports of supply problems at local pharmacies.

Mr Sharp said: “We have raised the issue of the supply of some fairly standard medicines with the local CCG and NHS England, but are still awaiting a response.

“It seems that the local pharmacies expect medicines to be delivered on a certain date from suppliers and tell their patients to collect them shortly after.

“However, worryingly, the deliveries are not being completely fulfilled, which causes patients an added delay to them receiving the regular medicines they need in time.

“While we know the local pharmacies do all they can to try to alleviate any problems for patients when medicines are delayed, we hope NHS England and the CCG will address the matter quickly and appropriately.

“We are monitoring this issue of supply, but, if anyone has been put in this situation, please do contact us on (01635) 886210 or via our website www.HealthwatchWestBerks.org.uk”

Meanwhile three of the district’s pharmacies have received positive feedback following recent visits from local health watchdog, Healthwatch West Berkshire (HWWB).

HWWB used its statutory powers to ‘enter and view’ the Boots pharmacies in Northbrook Street, and Thatcham Health Centre and Graham Jones Pharmacy in Lambourn.

Inspectors looked at patient satisfaction across three areas – waiting times, staff attitudes and staff advice – with all three businesses scoring well.

The three pharmacies all scored above 3.5 out of five for satisfaction with staff attitudes and advice, while Boots in Northbrook Street was the only one to score lower than four out five for waiting times (patients gave it a rating of 2.9).

Chief officer of HWWB, Andrew Sharp, said: “This report shows, broadly speaking, the residents of West Berkshire are getting a good service from their pharmacies, though it’s apparent that there is pressure in the system due to demand and we want to hear from the public if issues arise in relation to pharmacy services locally.”

The report has been sent to the Newbury Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch England and Pharmacy Thames Valley.

Chief executive officer at Pharmacy Thames Valley, Carol Trower, said: “We are pleased that the recent visits were generally positive and that the report acknowledges the good work being done in local pharmacies.”

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