Mar 11

gwbap

Once a brief guided tour of the dispensary, led by pharmacist Shafeeque Mohammed, was over,Mr Murdock’s first task of the day was to check the repeat prescriptions that had already been prepared by a dispenser.

Most of it was “pretty standard stuff” and, with the exception of one incomplete prescription, the job was finished without any major problems. The help of the BNF was only needed on a couple of occasions.

As the pharmacy is directly opposite a health centre and near a hospital, plenty of prescriptions soon started coming in and Mr Murdock and Mr Mohammed were suddenly extremely busy.

Getting into the swing

Mr Murdock seemed to find his bearings very quickly and was soon turning round prescriptions quite rapidly. There was some Calpol to be measured and poured into a bottle, and 84 Deltacortril tablets to be counted up.

“We used to do a lot more counting in my day; that has changed quite a lot with the introduction of patient packs, and rightly so,” said Mr Murdock.

He would like to see the introduction of patient packs speeded up, estimating that the current split is about 60 to 40 per cent in favour of packs. He put the blame for the delay firmly on the current Government.

“The last Tory Government was going to fund conversion to patient packs, but when Labour came into power they said `no way’ and insisted that the industry paid for it,” he explained, adding that no agreement on the subject had been reached with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee either.

“It is a huge investment on industry’s part, but one that would allow us to automate a lot more,” he …