Friday, 25 November 2011

Lloyds pharmacy healthcare for life?

Lloyds pharmacy healthcare for life?
The strapline is “Healthcare for life”, yet this is the second time their care has ended with her in tears. Mrs R suffered from two serious illnesses as a child and as a consequence has been on various medications for most of her life. Most of the health problems she has now can be traced back to those times when she nearly died.

Over many years at our previous address, a small independent pharmacy had no difficulty supplying any of her medication. On moving to our current address we started using either of the two Lloyds Pharmacies in town, and within a short while there were snags; eventually we were told they couldn’t get any stock. A complaint led to a phone call and the discovery that actually some Lloyds staff didn’t understand their stock codes; they could supply the medication after all - much like a normal pharmacy in fact. They did call back, I’ll give them that, and they were honest as to the nature of the problem; I was assured by (I think) the area manager that this wouldn’t happen again.

Today, it happened again. Mrs R put in a prescription two weeks ago which was part filled, the remainder would be in “by Monday”. Allowing them plenty of leeway, I went in today to be told there’s a manufacturing fault - which was odd as I walked to the other Lloyds to discover they had stock, as did another pharmacy. The second Lloyds wouldn’t transfer the medication and suggested getting a new script. So on a Friday afternoon, Mrs R - already in some distress - finds herself trying to get hold of a GP at short notice and having to explain that though she’s already had a script, she needs another.

Lloyds Pharmacy is the largest operator in the UK. How can a company of that size let this happen again? Economies of scale should not lead to economies with customer care; yet it has, twice. How do they intend to resolve this situation? I have no idea. I've had no acknowledgement of either the message I sent using their website, or the one posted on their Facebook page early this afternoon. I guess they went home early.

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