Disintegrating Cumbria and the ‘Not-Well’ Pharmacy!

24 03 2020

Okay, rant time!

Not sure if the whole country is disintegrating or whether it’s just my ‘new’ local area but it truly is around here! I’ve just had one helluva day! 😐

I rang the doctor’s this morning – I didn’t want to see anyone, I just wanted some official confirmation that I shouldn’t be going to work in a shop at the moment while this virus rages. The reason I shouldn’t be going in is because I’m one of the ones classed as ‘vulnerable’ due to having lung disease.

I just needed some kind of written confirmation so that I could stop going into the shop – a shop is obviously a high risk occupation right now for folks with lung disease who are the ones who are dying from the Coronavirus.

Anyway, the doctor’s receptionists wouldn’t put me through to anyone and just said that there was a letter to print off on the gov.uk website to excuse yourself from work (I’ve re-checked – there isn’t). They weren’t prepared to get me any other kind of validation for ‘self-isolating’ so that means that, if I do, I’ll be out of a job by the time this is all over in 6 months or more!

So… it’s back to work as normal tomorrow despite my worries. The only consolation is that I work in Keswick which has largely shut down so the shop is getting very few customers so less to breathe virus germs on me hopefully.

So anyway, rejection received, I went off down town to visit the bakery to see if I could get some bread this week as I was nearly out and couldn’t get any last week. Luckily, our admirable Wigton bakery are not disintegrating and they had a great supply of freshly-baked and sealed/wrapped breads to choose from 🙂

I then went up to the chemist to collect my repeat prescription for my asthma and osteoporosis. Despite queueing for 3.5 hours!! I didn’t get a thing and the shutters were pulled down and I had to go away empty handed. I’d called in last night too and not managed to get in.

This caused me to go for a long walk on Binsey and try to figure out what on earth was going on in the Well Pharmacy in Wigton. Each person was taking on average 6 to 8 minutes to get in and out of the shop and they were only dealing with one person at a time. The queue was stretching around the block and it was pretty cold waiting. This wasn’t a rock concert or the January Sales, just a pharmacy!

All this is also bearing in mind that those queuing were just the normal folks wanting their regular medication – there hasn’t been an increase in medications as no-one can see a doctor just now…

I thought back to when I used to drive regularly up to Cumbria with Richard and we used to call at a superb butty wagon (the one on Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale). This is a biker’s spot and very, very busy and they are absolutely mowed with orders all day long. You basically go to the counter and order what you want, you then go to stand and admire the river until you hear the shout of ‘ready’. Then you look round at the van to see whether you’re the person being looked at – if so, that’s your sandwich in his hand. No matter how busy they were, you only waited the length of time it took to cook your butty! THAT’S how to run a service!

I’m assuming our ‘not-Well’ pharmacy aren’t bothering to make up the prescription orders in advance (despite getting them electronically in advance). Also, why on earth can’t they operate like the butty wagon, i.e. open a hatch so that no-one goes into the shop to infect them. Take the names of the people in the queue, passing those names to the people in the back (same room) getting the orders.

The orders should be PRE-PACKED (like our Tesco pharmacy in Skipton used to have them). Then they just have to look alphabetically for your name, grab your bag, go back to the window and, instead of shouting ‘ready’, shout your name, pass you your bag and away you go happy! If I can think of this and don’t run a business, why on earth can’t they??!!

So, anyway, being the pragmatist that I am, on the hill I formulated a plan. In order to save themselves and myself any more trouble, I’d prepare a postage-paid (I can weigh my current medications) jiffy bag with my address on (the same name and address as on the prescription) and give that to them to simply drop my stuff in and send out when they have a minute.

Luckily, being a Yorkshire person, I’m quite canny with money so thought I’d best check this plan was going to work before I shelled out for the postage. I rang the pharmacy and asked if could do this as I’d already visited twice, waited over 3.5 hours and still not got my medication. They said no! Apparently, they can give your medication to any person passing who knows your name but can’t post it to the legal recipient as per their in-pharmacy label.

What a complete and utter shambles! So, now I’m faced with stopping all my medication until after the coronavirus is over and ‘normal service’ is resumed. Not a happy bunny… I just hope I don’t get the virus as that will probably be the end of the mountain coward!

Suggestions as to how I might obtain some medication are most welcome. Richard did say that the Yorkshire pharmacies are running far, far better than that and that there are no queues that he’s seen.

And, just to cap it all, for the second year running, the council have decided not to empty our garden waste bins so we’re going to be overrun with that all summer again! 😦

Stay well folks!

You’re reading a post by Mountain Coward. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Mountain Coward from my homepage


Actions

Information

26 responses

27 05 2020
Caroline

I hope you get the help you need

Like

27 05 2020
mountaincoward

I got plenty of helpful comments – one of which has led me to ‘Pharmacy2U’ where I can now just order all my medication online and… get it delivered in the post (just like I asked the chemist to but they said it was illegal or suchlike)!

Liked by 1 person

28 04 2020
Alli Templeton

Oh you poor thing, Carol! I’m so sorry that this one seems to have slipped past me and I didn’t see a notification about it. WordPress seems to have become a bit unreliable and erratic in informing me about new posts recently. I’ll have to look into it. What an awful day you had though! How incredibly frustrating. Did you get it sorted out in the end?

Like

29 04 2020
mountaincoward

Well… possibly… not sure yet. I signed up for Pharmacy2U to get my medication online. I ordered some nearly a month ago, the doctor took at least 2 weeks to sign it off and it still hasn’t come and is well overdue. I have 10 days of osteoporosis pills left and, if the medication doesn’t come in time, I’m going to take myself off the pills until I can get at least a year’s stockpile built up. It’s the only way to do it I’m afraid. I can’t keep putting medications into my body sporadically so that the side effects and harm can take place but the benefits don’t get chance to take place!

I ended up self-isolating from work but never got any kind of written validation from anywhere (despite being advised by the government to not go to work in the shop) so I’m not getting paid and am very worried I won’t have a job to go back to if this goes on for a while 😦

Liked by 1 person

29 04 2020
Alli Templeton

That’s utterly insane, Carol, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I have my own views on this whole episode, but I won’t bore you with those. Suffice to say I’m really quite angry about how so many people don’t seem to matter to the powers that be, and they haven’t taken into account how this is affecting vulnerable people who don’t quite make it to the hallowed Covid-19 category. My son, Nathan, (the one with Autism) is completely screwed up and it’s heartbreaking to watch. But of course, he doesn’t matter either. It’s making my blood boil, to be honest, Carol, and I’m frustrated and concerned on your behalf too. Feel free to drop me a line any time to vent your spleen further! In the meantime, I wish you all the very best and there’s no justice in the world if your job isn’t waiting for you when this finally blows over. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

30 04 2020
mountaincoward

Those are my views exactly that many of us just don’t matter. I’ve been almost permanently angry since it started. I’m calming down a bit now – probably with the better weather. But I think this disease has brought home to me just how little I matter to this country – I don’t think I realised before.

At least my boss is still e-mailing me for a friendly chat – and they’ve saved me an easter egg – one of my favourite Nomo Salted Caramel ones 🙂

Like

29 03 2020
Jo

Maybe you could have some compassion for the pharmacy staff and GPs

who are also human and have their own worries and concerns about Covid

Like

29 03 2020
mountaincoward

If you re-read the post, you’ll probably see I was trying to be objective and have made suggestions as to how they could efficiently run their pharmacy even with less staff.

Other pharmacies up and down the country don’t appear to have people waiting for 4 hours and then getting locked out – and I’ve spoken to lots of people to ask them. I’ve also been to other pharmacies and not had the same problems – in fact, one of them even gave me my prescription! It just appears to be a case of really lousy organisation and planning.

People with lung disease (like myself) need their medication more than ever just now – it’s absolutely vital as these are the people who are dying from this disease.

The attitude of both the doctor’s receptionists and the pharmacy staff on the phone was objectionable and there was no need for it. Especially when I rang the pharmacy with a potential solution but they wouldn’t take the suggestion on board.

Like

27 03 2020
underswansea

Hi Carol, I do hope you are able to get everything you need. These are strange days indeed. I miss your mountain hiking posts. Stay safe and take care. Bob

Like

27 03 2020
mountaincoward

I’m going to start putting out all the archival posts from a forum I used to be on. I can’t get film developed any more anyway as all our shops have shut except essential food shops.

I got a prescription today from the chemist next to work (the one I had my prescription relocated to) and have now signed up to an online pharmacy service who deliver to your door 🙂

Like

28 03 2020
underswansea

Looking forward to reading your archived posts. Glad to hear you got your perscription.

Like

25 03 2020
treksandtors

Change your pharmacy or look online for that medication delivery service to your door. Well pharmacy do that. Sign up online

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

I asked about the Well Pharmacy delivery and they said they only have one driver and are not taking on any more people to deliver to. But thanks for the suggestion… I’m getting my next prescription at Boots in Keswick which is next door to the shop I work in. They said it should be ready for Friday which is when I’m next at work and there were only 2 people queueing…

Liked by 1 person

25 03 2020
treksandtors

Bingo, that’s a result. For me there should be two queues, two people serving. One for those that haven’t pre ordered and are walking in to get a prescription, and us sensible lot that have preordered and only need to collect, as you say a hatch would suffice!!

Like

25 03 2020
bowlandclimber

Sorry to hear of your difficuties.
You say you work in a shop, I’m not being nosy but aren’t all nonessential shops closed. Should you be going to work?
Stay safe.

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

Our shop (health shop) has applied for, and got, essential shop status apparently. I shouldn’t really be going to work but, apparently, those government letters are only going to be for people with cancer or cystic fibrosis and not asthmatics or COPD cases 😦

Liked by 1 person

25 03 2020
John Bainbridge

You really shouldn’t be going in to work. The government has really cocked all this up.

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

Agreed – it could have been handled better. They ADVISE us not to go to work if we’re asthmatic but won’t provide the paperwork to say we ‘must not’ go to work which is what employers require in the main. Anyway, luckily, I’m not in from next week onwards for 3 months as, apparently, a load of our other staff have gone into self-isolation for asthma so I don’t think they’ll sack us all!

Liked by 1 person

26 03 2020
John Bainbridge

Keep safe.

Like

25 03 2020
chrissiedixie

I hope you manage to get everything you need, Carol x

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

I’ve asked to transfer my prescription to Boots in Keswick which is next door to our shop. They were very helpful this morning (and there was no queue) and they said it should be ready for Friday. Not sure what will happen for future prescriptions though as it’s finally been agreed that I shouldn’t work for 3 months from next week onwards – phew!

Liked by 1 person

25 03 2020
Blue Sky Scotland

Much the same here with the chemist although only a short queue of ten people as I live near the outskirts with a local branch. Got all my flu type meds in weeks ago and a month’s worth of food. Hope you are remembering to use a sheet of kitchen towel to handle pumps at garages. Hundreds of different hands touching them when filling up.. Local shops will probably be one in- one out as well as numbers of infected rise. Supposed to be just newsagents, food shops, garages, post offices, and banks staying open here.

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

I only just thought about petrol pumps the other day when someone mentioned it unfortunately. I was wondering what to do – the kitchen roll idea is brilliant as I always keep one in the boot for checking my oil level dipstick. thanks for that!

Like

24 03 2020
Steven Loraine

Hi. I regularly read your posts.
One in particular on a Munro route has been very helpful in my planning. I respond though to your Covid19 travails.
1. With your lung problem you must not work and should self-isolate. I have asthma and also immune suppression meds to cope with rheumatoid arthritis and I am self isolating now. The Govt has told us to.
2. The government has promised people like us a text or call from our GPs by 29.3 telling us how we will be supported and have food etc delivered to us.
3. For many months I have used Pharmacy2U for my regular meds and my very ill mother’s. I book these on line monthly and they are delivered to my door. All the GP has to do is approve the request and the meds arrive two days later. I’m over 60 they are free but you can pay on line if you have to pay.
4. Everything you’ve suffered is shocking and unnecessary. Apologies if know all of the above. If not, I hope it helps.

Liked by 1 person

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

Very helpful thank you. I’ll look up Pharmacy2U 🙂

The government are sending letters to people with cystic fibrosis and cancer but apparently aren’t going to bother to make it official for asthmatics and COPD cases (according to the gov.uk website’s latest bulletin). It needs to be official for employers.

Anyway, fortunately, so many of our staff have self-isolated with asthma that I’m no longer worried about losing my job as they surely can’t sack us all?! 😉

Like

25 03 2020
mountaincoward

Just registered with Pharmacy2U now – thanks again for that!

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: