Summary of report content
Healthwatch York undertook research into how well the new repeat prescription process introduced in September 2019 was working, as they had heard concerns from members of the public and local pharmacies. They spoke to 80 members of the public and 22 members of staff working at pharmacies.
The public had several concerns including not getting any information about the change when it happened, problems for carers and vulnerable people, the extra time involved, and difficulties getting online and telephone access to GP surgeries. Some members of the public who had been able to get online access did report greater convenience and efficiency since using online services.
Pharmacy staff’s concerns included the challenges faced by older and vulnerable patients, having to deal with people who had run out of medication or had gone without. Some mentioned there were some benefits for patients including increased patient control and less reliance on the pharmacy. Pharmacy staff experienced problems when it was first introduced, difficulties in meeting patient expectations and increased time spent on problem solving. The positive aspects of the change included increased pharmacy staff time and reduced workload. They made several suggestions to improve the procedure
The report proposes recommendations around three key areas: improving engagement prior to service change, improving access for carers, older people and other vulnerable groups and improving consistency in general practice service delivery and online systems across York.