Over the last 2 weeks, we have had a massive increase in prescription requests. The time it has taken the Clinical staff to process these, has impacted on their ability to focus on the clinical care for the 11,000 patients registered at Whitchurch Medical Centre.
We have therefore initiated some temporary measures, regarding prescriptions.
Firstly, some requests are for medications that are widely available to buy. We are asking patients to purchase these mediations, for example hay fever medication, certain laxatives, indigestion remedies etc., where possible. This may well only be for the short term, to ease the burden on NHS Wales, where we have had Free Prescriptions for a number of years. Prescription charges in England are now £9 per item.
Certain medications for example oral treatment for fungal toenail infections, acne medication etc. cannot be monitored adequately, with the recommended routine blood tests. Prescribing of these medications will be suspended, in the short term.
The number of prescriptions for Asthma inhalers has increased so much that locally, a medication, used as a preventer licenced for children, has been out of stock. This means that some children, who have moderate to severe asthma, are being prescribed medication that is not licenced for their use.
There is some excellent advice regarding Asthma and inhaler use, in those patients with moderate to severe asthma and this can be accessed through www.asthma.org.uk . It states to use regular prescribed medication and only re-start this if it is indeed a regular prescription. There have been concerns that some patients “self-management” could be detrimental to their overall response to a virus. Any of the Clinicians would be happy to discuss concerns.
Finally we have had an increasing number of requests for Medical Certificates/”Sick notes” and letters stating medical conditions. For Medical certificates, related to Covid-19, patients are being directed to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ . We are unable to write any letters for employers, regarding Chronic Medical Conditions.
Thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times.