View Full Version : Red tape and jobsworths

3rd May 2013, 08:51
Today, I need to show up at my doctors surgery, to collect a repeat prescription. That bit is fair enough.

Then I need to go into the village and visit a chemist' shop, present my prescription, pay the fee, wait around for 10 minutes, collect prescribed items and head for home.


There is a perfectly capable dispensary at the doctors surgery, they have the items in stock but "we can't supply to you because you live less than a mile from a chemist shop".

What is this crap? Ill thought out red tape or jobsworth excuse?

Whatever, it doesn't work for the benifit of the customer.


3rd May 2013, 08:59
Chemists' shops open all hours and are widely available for repeat prescriptions. I would imagine this is why it benefits the system to have independent chemists' shops.
The 10 minute delay is how long it takes the pharmacist to decipher the doctor's handwriting.;)

tony draper
3rd May 2013, 08:59
Never heard of this rule before,Chemist Shops are the only shops that seem to be opening rather then closing down round here,I live within a mile of four or five now yet I still get my prescription made up at the surgery pharmacy.

green granite
3rd May 2013, 09:02
It is the Government rules designed to protect the chemist shops. :ugh:

3rd May 2013, 09:04
I rang NS & I to enquire what had happened to 1000 which I'd paid into my son's Premium Bond holding just before he turned 16. Three months after I'd paid the money, the bond account had not been credited. I told them my name and the reason for my call.

"I can't tell you anything about your son's bond holding because he is over 16" says Mrs. JW, reading from the flowchart script.

"I understand that, but I'm asking you what happened to my 1000, I'm not asking for details of my son's account movement."

"I can't tell you anything about your son's bond holding because he is over 16" says Mrs. JW, reading from the flowchart script.

It could have gone for ever, so I asked for a supervisor.

"The supervisor will tell you the same" says Mrs. JW, reading from the script.

"Let me speak to the supervisor and stop obstructing me."

Supervisor : "I can't tell you anything about your son's bond holding because he is over 16"

After a short exchange I said that I wanted this escalated to a formal complaint.

Next day, someone with a brain who was not reading from a script called me to apologise for the inconvenience and sort out the problem. Nice chap, full marks, and he said that they should have been able to give me the information I requested and proceeded to do so.

Just before thanking him and ending the conversation, I said that next time instead of being truthful, I would say I was my son.

"Ah, but we would ask you the security questions and only he would know the answers."

"And the security questions are ..........?

"His mother's maiden name and his home address."

"So, do you think I wouldn't know my son's mother's maiden name and his home address?"

(typo, missing word!)

3rd May 2013, 09:06
My wife used to work in a Doctor's dispensary and the logic of this (as explained to me) is that Doctor's dispensaries are only meant to be used for thiose who do NOT have easy access to a normal pharmacy (within 1 mile). If all prescriptions were filled at the dispensary then many pharmacies would close, the surgery dispensary would need hugely expanding and would need to have out of hours access.

I am on regular medication and my doctor has a dispensary but is about 6 miles away, my local pharmcay is only 1 mile away and I request repeat prescriptions over the phone to the Doctor's surgery who then sends the prescription electronically to my local pharamacy where I can pick up the medication next day (or two days if it has to be ordered from the wholesaler).

Works really well. What is the problem?

3rd May 2013, 09:14
In this case, the dispensary at the doctors surgery is nearer to all three chemist shops in the area than my house is, so the 1 mile rule is just barking, Everyone collecting prescriptions is less than a mile from a chemist shop at that point, irrespective of where they live.


tony draper
3rd May 2013, 09:16
Hmmm,giving the matter some more thought I reckon there are six different Chemist shops I could walk to in twenty minutes from me front door,we seem to be a tad oversubscribed pharmacywise round here.

3rd May 2013, 09:18
Almost all the elderly are on at least one set of pills, and 20 minutes is a long walk for some of them (given they might still be waiting for that hip op.).

3rd May 2013, 09:37

I am fortunate in that my excellent surgery has it's own pharmacy,but if they do not have an item you can't go elsewhere to have it prescribed.Swings and roundabouts I suppose

Ancient Mariner
3rd May 2013, 09:50
I'll email my request for repeat-prescriptions to my MD, I'll get a confirmation within a few hours, then I can go to any pharmacy, show my ID and pick up the medicine. What one would expect in this time and age, but of course we are a socialist country.

3rd May 2013, 10:06
When my old maiden aunt was on her last legs I discovered that I could leave her prescription at the local chemists, they would take it in and get it renewed and put up the pills, and I could just call in and pick them up as I passed by on my way to hers.

I got the impression this service was available for everybody, not just old or housebound patients, and in later days they even delivered them to her home - I just had to ensure her 28-day dispenser was loaded when I visited.

Since 'er indoors is on a repeat, and the docs dispensary never seems to have stock (there's no demand for it....although she has it every month) I am thinking of taking ours to the chemists as well. However we are currently able to renew on line at our docs so that is the easiest at the moment.


3rd May 2013, 10:25
In Canada, prescription renewal is also by email, or phone, and they'll even deliver locally for free.

tony draper
3rd May 2013, 10:40
Same here,I order my prescription from the Surgery pharmacy by phone and it is delivered to my front door free.
Mainly because my GPs surgery is in a awkward place to get to not far (two different buses if I cant cadge a lift) ,used to be three separate surgeries now been centralized in one place.
I think a few of the big national Pharmacy Chains offer the pick up and deliver service.

3rd May 2013, 10:51
We have one surgery and no chemist; population of the island is about 400. The surgery dispenses drugs, I just email the surgery with the repeat prescription items then pop in the next day to collect them (it's about 2 miles from our house). If I need to see the doctor there's a walk-in system five days a week 09:30 to 10:30 - and the doctor also does house calls!

A A Gruntpuddock
3rd May 2013, 11:20
Why is it that people who are unable to help are always labelled 'jobsworths'?

I used to work for the Council and got this all the time.

People would phone the wrong department then complain when you asked them to wait while you searched the directory for the correct department so you could transfer them!

One man complained about something and I thought it was a valid point, said so and that I would arrange for the work to be carried out.

He then started threatening to go over my head! Why???? I told him that if he wanted to do that he should just go ahead and I would await instructions from above then put the phone down.

Still arranged for the work though.

3rd May 2013, 11:26
Why is it that people who are unable to help are always labelled 'jobsworths'?

Because we suspect that they are unwilling rather than unable, or at any rate are taking pleasure out of their refusal.

One man complained about something and I thought it was a valid point, said so and that I would arrange for the work to be carried out.

He then started threatening to go over my head! Why???? I told him that if he wanted to do that he should just go ahead and I would await instructions from above then put the phone down.

Still arranged for the work though.

You are a better man than I am, I would have waited for instructions, assuming (tongue in cheek) that what I had offerred to do was wrong.

3rd May 2013, 14:04
Well we phone ASDA pharmacy on a Monday or a Tuesday with what we want and its there to be picked up with the shopping on a Friday.

3rd May 2013, 22:40
Working for a local authority is weird. When I was driving dustcarts I had irate members of the public complaining to me about:
- there being a foamy substance in the sea
- the council rent office not sorting out a payment
- poll tax being expensive
- skateboarders on the pavement
- me apparently breaking someone's fence (completely random accusation as far as I could tell)
- there being no public toilets on the South Downs...which is apparently a problem "if you've got diarrhoea"

Mind you, I only remember the nutters. There were probably hundreds of perfectly normal people I dealt with. That's the danger of driving a highly visible, bright yellow truck with twirling beacons on the roof. It's like an invitation to all the local lunatics.

Milo Minderbinder
3rd May 2013, 22:55
new regulations just taken effect with respect to pharmacy locations and catchment areas, and competition
over 200 sections, rather indigestible load of bumph

The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/349/contents/made)

3rd May 2013, 23:55
Today I just wanted to take some garden rubbish (a big pile of Leylandii branches) to the local tip. I can't get them in the boot of my car so I want to put them in my trailer.

I need a permit for a trailer. I look on the local government website, as per instructions at the local tip. Website says ring this number.... I ring that number.

Council man who answers says look on the website!
I say it says ring you!
He says sorry, the details are on the website.

They aren't but I eventually found them, they are on a different website!

Different website says download this form to apply for trailer permit. I download it. It says I need to include a photocopy of the car registration document (i.e. the one pulling the trailer), showing car details and address on the same page. That's the first two pages. I copy them.

The form says to take it to the local council building (precise address given). I go to the local council building this afternoon. I stand in the queue for over twenty minutes waiting my turn. Not many people waiting but staff seem to need a break and a chat between every customer they deal with! My car is on a 30 minute ticket in the car park and as it's market day the traffic warden is lurking. Frustrating and worrying. My turn at last. I present the forms.

The "customer service" rep tells me I'm at the wrong council building! I point out the address given on the form, which is where I am. I get a blank look and a shrug of the shoulders, told that the correct office is a "Council contact point", on the other side of the town, next to the library building.

Off I go..

I can't find the place. I go into the library building. I walk round and eventually find a chap sitting at an unmarked desk, tucked away around a corner. I ask him where the "contact point" is. He says he's "it". I tell him I'm there to get my trailer permit. He tells me I need to go to the website and download some forms. :ugh:

I show him my forms. He shakes his head and tells me I also need the third page of my car registration document. I point out that there is no vehicle detail or address on the third page, or the fourth. He says he can send the forms off for me but they might not be accepted without the third page! I ask him where he's sending the forms - I thought hewas going to issue me with a trailer permit. Oh, no he's just a contact point. He has to send the forms to the main building..... but the forms won't even be sent until next Tuesday! I ask how long the permit will take to be issued. He says "You mean IF it will be issued? It has to be approved...Fifteen working days to process".

So if the form is incorrect, they will send them back after fifteen days, whereupon I have to go through all this charade again!

I stare at him in disbelief and ask for the forms back.

I also tell him it's becoming very obvious why we have a fly-tipping problem in this area. :mad:

True story!!

4th May 2013, 00:31
Must admit the lady who handled this situation was very polite and was just following the rules, however:

Had to apply to a big government department for something or other, and while my application was being checked I was handed a sheet of three questions with "Yes/No" answers. to complete.

Q1 - have you ever been expelled from a country? A - No
Q2 - Have you ever been involved in any organisation which would be considered a risk to national security? A - No.
Q3 - Have you ever been trained in the use of firearms or explosives, or part of a militia, paramilitary force, ....(several other definitions)?

So here I stopped and thought about it. I had served some time in a military force, and I was trained in the use of firearms, so I answered "Yes".

Handed the form back to the young lady at this point, and she went through the answers. The first two "No" answers got approving faces, but the third got the "what do I do now?" frown. She then confimed that I had actually answered correctly ("You answered Yes, did you mean to?"), before eliciting further information ("what do you mean Yes?")

I replied that I had served in a military force, specifically the Royal Air Force. The next question was a little confusing "Which Royal Air Force?" With a little pride in my voice I replied "There is only one Royal Air Force..." thinking that would be the end of it.

The next reply came with the sort of sweet smile you reserve for a slightly backward child "Yes but many countries have a monarchy, and each of those would have a Royal Air Force".

At this point I calmly replied "I agree, but the clue in those cases would be in the title, such as Royal Canadian, Royal Norwegian, Royal Australian, do you see?"

At this point she had obviously lost the logic battle, so she changed tactics to the tried and tested favourite "well any confusion could mean that the application is refused until further evidence is provided to clarify, please answer the question fully..."

Hence the response of "Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

Airborne Aircrew
4th May 2013, 01:08
Hmm... Over here in the US.., Before ObamaCare kicks in, my local pharmacy calls me to tell me me repetitive monthly prescription is ready for collection...

I have the feeling I'll have to beg for the drugs come 2014 and beyond...

You lot are lucky...

4th May 2013, 01:37
Just head south to Windsor, my man. Drugs are cheaper, the legal ones, anyway.

4th May 2013, 03:49
No comment.

Teenager tends war memorial in his village for 12 years... then the council accuses him of criminal damage after he added a pipe to water plants | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2317962/Teenager-tends-war-memorial-village-12-years--council-accuses-criminal-damage-added-pipe-water-plants.html)

4th May 2013, 05:14
Hence the response of "Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

Reminds me of why according to the immigration department of a certain central African country, I am Irish.

At the land crossing, I showed my British passport, since travelling with a SA passport in those days was not very smart.

"Eehh what country is this"

I pointed to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"Eehh what is the name of the country?"

Again ............

The snot and grime encrusted finger is run across the cover of the passport, the old black type in those days, I think the letters were embossed, not like those cheap shoddy purple pieces of crap that we get under the EUSSR, and he says : "So it is Ireland. Your country, it is Ireland."

"Yes, fine ..............."

4th May 2013, 05:51
Very similar, in the late 60's we used to go to Vic falls most years. We would cross into Rhodesia for a few days.

On one trip, the Zambian authorities carefully copied down all the details of all our passports.

We get to the Rhodesian side, and after a brief glance, they called us to one side. Both my parents passports had expired. Not a problem, they suggested an answer quickly, they declared my parents prohibited immigrants, and they paid a few pounds for a permit.

Of course the big worry now was getting back into Zambia were we lived at the time.

Once again they dutifully copied down all the details, too ages, but then it always did.

Fortunately for the second time, they did not notice that the expiry date was in the past :)