Computer says no

Just getting Elliot’s medicines ready for breakfast and realised we’re nearly out of Movicol. Which means we have to begin the whole trying to get a repeat prescription rigmarole.

He’s on laxatives indefinitely and we have them all on repeat prescription, which Boots collects from the surgery and prepares for us. So in theory we simply pop into Boots and pick up his medication once a month.

In practice this turns into a twelve step process:

  1. Pop into Boots to pick up medicine.
  2. Boots say they haven’t received the prescription from the surgery.
  3. I phone the surgery to ask if they could get prescription ready as medicine has almost run out.
  4. Receptionist says she’ll ask doctor to do it.
  5. The next day I phone Boots to see if the prescription has been faxed over. It hasn’t.
  6. I phone the surgery again to say it’s getting quite urgent now.
  7. Surgery say they hadn’t been able to fax it because fax machine has broken (but they didn’t think it was worth letting me know of this).
  8. I offer to pop in and collect the prescription.
  9. I arrive at surgery to find prescription hasn’t been written yet.
  10. Wait for prescription while practising death stare on receptionist.
  11. Take prescription to Boots and pick up medicine.
  12. Go home and submerge head in a bucket of wine.

I’m a huge fan of the NHS and they do an incredible job, so I do feel bad for complaining. I know it’s the system that’s the problem and it’s not normally the fault of individual staff who are just doing their best with unrealistically few resources. But as we’ve been dealing with Elliot’s issues for so long, and seen the emotion and psychological impact it has on him, it’s really hard not to get frustrated. We often feel the need to have someone to ‘blame’ even though it’s not their fault. Although, in the case of one particular doctor, it might be:

Me (on phone to doctor): Hi there, would it be ok for you to please send Elliot’s repeat prescription to Boots electronically – he needs it today and they haven’t received it.

Doctor: Can you remind me what medication he’s on.

Me: (under breath) Surely you should know that. (Out loud) Yes it’s Optifibre.

Doctor: I can’t find that on our system, can you bring the box into the surgery so I can look at it.

Me: He’s been taking it for a while so it should be on the system. I’m at work so I can’t bring the box in, shall I email you a photo of it?

Doctor: Ooh we don’t do email!

Me: Ok, if you Google it you can see a photo and description of it.

Doctor: I can’t see it on my Google.

Me: (explains how to use Google)

Doctor: Ok I’ve found it now, I’ll send it to Boots.

Me: Thanks, you’re sending it electronically aren’t you? He needs it today.

Doctor: No I’ve printed it to put in the post.

Me: No he needs it today, can you send it electronically like you did last time.

Doctor: But I’ve printed it now so I can’t. I’ll fax it, whats the fax number?

Me: I’m afraid I don’t know the fax number (as I no longer live in the bloody 1990s).

Doctor: Can you phone Boots and ask them for their fax number?

FFS!! Wine bucket time again.

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