Woman 'annoyed and disappointed' after being sent to Chichester pharmacy in prescription ordeal

Debbie Lutman had problems getting medical help for her father. Photo: Kate Shemilt. ks190386-1
Debbie Lutman had problems getting medical help for her father. Photo: Kate Shemilt. ks190386-1

A woman has spoken of her distressing battle to get an emergency prescription for her elderly father.

Debbie Lutman was left ‘annoyed and disappointed’ after she was told she would have to travel from Common View, Stedham, to Sainsbury’s in Chichester to pick up catheter bags for her dad Les Lutman, 87, who is a long term catheter user.

Les Lutman

Les Lutman

After a stay at Arundel Community Hospital, which ended last Monday (June 17), Debbie realised her dad would not have enough supplies. She phoned Riverbank Medical Centre on Tuesday to order a repeat prescription but she said they were unable to help as they did not have the right paperwork from the hospital. She considered eBay but the bags would not have arrived soon enough.

Debbie said: “I was advised to contact 111 for an emergency supply to be delivered to me. I tried repeatedly on Saturday and all day was told they were receiving an abnormally high volume of calls.

“I phoned them again at approximately 6am on Sunday and an out of hours GP called me back before 7am. I was told he’d send an emergency prescription to Sainsbury’s at Chichester for me to collect. I don’t drive and there are no buses in to Chichester from Stedham on Sunday. I was told there was no way they could deliver the night bags directly to me and they would leave it to me how I got to Chichester.” Read about the cuts to bus services across Midhurst here.

Debbie said she did manage to get a lift from a friend, only to find that they had no record of the prescription.

“Cue my mini meltdown,” Debbie said. “With the information I could give about the product details, they found a pack of suitable bags in stock but, because of the lack of prescription, I had to pay for them – £21.62. I was not happy.”

IC24, which provides the out of hours service, offered an apology but reiterated it ‘doesn’t offer a delivery service for prescriptions’.

A spokesman said: “We are sorry that the patient had difficulty obtaining a repeat prescription over the weekend.

“Our out of hours service received one call, which was early on Sunday morning, and a doctor called within an hour to arrange a prescription. Unfortunately, due to an administrative error the prescription was not sent to the pharmacy.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience that was caused and would encourage the patient to contact us so we can arrange to reimburse her the cost of the bags.”