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Prescription ordering service and appointment system now clearer after meeting

MELKSHAM Seniors’ recent meeting discussing the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service and  new appointment system left attendees better informed and positive about the schemes.

Since November, patients of Giffords Surgery have had to use the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) telephone service or register online to order their repeat prescriptions.

“The new service has been met with a mixed reaction from patients, and concern was raised about the difficulties in getting through, especially for the more vulnerable in the community,” said Brian Warwick, from Melksham Seniors who chaired the meeting.

“After an aggressive and negative start to the meeting, attendees were informed as to the reasons for the majority of changes at Giffords Surgery – one being the fact that £2.7million is being wasted in Wiltshire alone on unused prescriptions.

“The public audience soon became far more constructive in expressing their views as to how the system could be improved. They also shared their strong views that consultation in advance would have been appreciated and hope this will be implemented if any further changes are needed in the future.

“Dr S Rosser and Dr A Burgess, representatives from Giffords at the meeting, agreed to maintain ongoing communications and invited any patient to join the surgery’s PPG consultation meetings, led by Giffords practice manager, Mandy Gurr. This will look to achieve a higher standard of communication between the practice and the community.

“Thank you to Dr S Rosser and Dr A Burgess for taking the time to be present at the meeting and for being so open and frank about the serious problems the surgery has faced in recent months.

“I think we have all learnt lessons about good early consultation and the fact it is far better to work together to resolve problems, rather than so often adding unnecessarily to them.

“Hopefully, the new system will soon settle down well, and the problems of recent times will soon disappear with the improvements now in place, along with new additional practitioners in post.”

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