Woolpit Pharmacy Waiting Times – January 2023

You may have noticed the pharmacy is exceptionally busy and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the current long waiting times and the queue. We value the feedback we have received and are working hard to reduce the pharmacy wait. The reasons for the long queue are complex – we are busier than ever before in terms of new patients joining the practice. National medication shortages mean you will have noticed more delays/substitutions in your regular medications. Our pharmacy team are working hard to mitigate for these difficulties but they all have a knock-on effect on how long our patients have to wait for the pharmacy.

What we are doing to help

More Staff – We have recruited more staff than ever before in our pharmacy and continue to increase the size of our team to deal with the increased workload and patient/prescription numbers.

New tills – We are replacing our pharmacy tills to enable faster transactions and payments.

Staff training – Our new and existing staff are undertaking training to allow us all to work more efficiently and quickly to dispense your medications.

Active Queue Management – During busy periods members of the pharmacy team will move along the queue to find out why you are here and to take your details – this means the rest of the pharmacy team are able to prioritise urgent and acute prescriptions and keep the queue moving faster – this may sometimes mean that you will notice people being called up to the counter who aren’t yet at the front of the queue – this is all designed to keep the waiting time as short as possible.

New storage design – We have recently changed our prescription and medication storage arrangements to allow us to make more room for your medications – and allow the pharmacy team to find your prescription more quickly when you come to collect.

Working harder – All of the pharmacy team are working exceptionally hard and have been working additional hours during this busy period – please remember to be patient with our team.

What you can do to help

Be kind – Abusive language and behaviour towards our staff has escalated. We are aware it is frustrating when you have to wait longer than normal for your medications but please remember the team are here to help and are doing their best. We will not tolerate abusive or intimidating behaviour.

Come to collect your medications when they are ready – A large number of patients attend before they have been advised their medications are ready to collect – we will always help when you have an urgent need to collect your medications but coming in early will only increase the wait for everyone else.

Order in good time – We generally advise ordering your repeat medications when you have a few days’ left. We aim for 72 working hours for a routine repeat prescription order.

Don’t order what you don’t need – Taking medications that have been ordered in error back into stock takes time and can lead to more wasted medications.

Check before you leave – Please check that you have collected what you are expecting before you leave the premises.

Make sure we have your correct mobile phone number – Often we find our patients aren’t receiving our messages because we have an out-of-date mobile number – if you haven’t signed up for SMS alerts from the practice please do so.

If you telephone us – We know that the phone lines are just as busy as the pharmacy queue – if you have a query that is not urgent did you know you can email us at woolpit.prescriptionrequest@nhs.net