Anger over 26-mile trip for prescription
A MAN has described his shock at Harborough’s lack of late-opening chemists after he had to drive to Kettering to pick up an urgent prescription for his elderly mother.
Robert Mason has accused out-of-hour services of failing to meet patient’s needs after discovering the nearest late-night dispensing chemists were in Leicester, Corby, Northampton or Kettering.
He discovered the issue after his 96-year-old mum Hilda Vernon, a resident at Oxendon House Care Home in Great Oxendon, suffered breathing difficulties on a Saturday afternoon.
An out-of-hours doctor was called but left only a prescription for antibiotics, said Mr Mason.
But no-one at the home was available to pick up the prescription and when Mr Mason was called at about 6.30pm, he was told there would be no chemists open in Harborough.
He said: “Clearly mother needed this medication and I went to Kettering and eventually found that a Lloyds Chemist was open and I was able to have the prescription dispensed.
“If I had not been available and willing to travel to Kettering my mother would have had to wait until Monday!
“The Out Of Hours Service clearly does not meet the patients’ needs in this instance. Many elderly people do not have their families ‘on-call’ to deal with such emergencies.”
Mr Mason contacted health services following the incident, on April 28, but said he has not yet received an explanation.
An late-duty chemist rota was operated in Harborough until quite recently but was scrapped because it was being under-used.
There is cover until 6pm on weekdays, 5.30pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays.
Health campaigner Cllr Phil Knowles told the Mail he has raised the issue with health bosses.
A spokesman for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCT Cluster said: “We are sorry to hear of the difficulties this gentleman has experienced in obtaining medication out of hours for his mother. The PCT has received a formal complaint and is in the process of working through the concerns raised. We are not able therefore, to comment further on this individual case at this time.
“There are four pharmacies which cover the Market Harborough population open from Monday through to Saturday with one opening on Sunday.
“We recognise some patients may require medication out of hours more urgently than others and cannot always wait until the next day.
“The PCT has an on call pharmacy service in place for dispensing urgent prescriptions to patients out of hours and Bank Holidays.
“If patients need the service, they can call the GP Out of Hour’s service [0845 045 0411], who will assess the patient over the phone and make arrangements with the on call pharmacist for the dispensing of urgent medication to the patient’s own home or place of residence.”
Chemist Opening Times
BOOTS THE CHEMIST, 9 St Mary’s Place, St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, LE16 7DR, 01858 462154
Tues, Weds, & Fri: 8.30am-5.30pm
LLOYDS PHARMACY, Northampton Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9HF, 01858 411056
Mon – Fri : 8.30am – 5.30pm
MISTRY’S PHARMACY, 14 High Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7NJ, 01858 467027
Mon – Sat: 8.30am – 5.30pm
NATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE CHEMISTS LTD, 7-9 Coventry Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9BX, 01858 462162
Mon – Fri: 8.30 – 6pm
Sat: 8.30am – 1pm
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Weather for Market Harborough
Thursday 23 May 2013
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