We recently took interest in articles by the BBC, Telegraph and Sun, where the problems pharmacies were having sourcing pretty ordinary medications were outlined.

The articles made it pretty clear, that this is a nationwide issue all pharmacies are facing and that it’s causing considerable distress to both patients, pharmacy staff and also those at the surgery. I made the grave error of reading the comments section of the Sun online article and I almost ended up needing blood pressure medication myself. Comments ranged from pharmacists need to keep more stock and predict which one of the 10,000 different drugs is going to go out of stock next. Obviously, ordering extra of that drug will mean that another pharmacy can't get it but let's not let reality get in the way. Some said that pharmacies had the drugs in stock but were withholding them from patients for some perverse reason. Then there were some that said that there was no problem and that this is simply scaremongering.

On a single day the other week, we had two patients turn up with prescriptions for HRT from hundreds of miles away. I'm not saying that they were health tourists but they went away happy as we managed to get them their much-needed medication after a bit of searching.


In contrast to last year, we've reached something of a comfort zone when it comes to our flu service. Getting the vaccines in early helped a lot and we'd already vaccinated much of West Cumbria by the end of September.

We've still got one or two left, so if you want to make sure that I don't lose my aim, then you know where to come.

Every month, when I'm putting my advert and article together for the Post, I try to think of something new for the advert to make it stand out from the previous month. When I administer flu jabs, I often get a comment from a patient and sometimes they make me chuckle. It was a bit late for this idea this year but I thought I might create a poster as if the flu service was a new film. I would then use the comments like a film review of the service.

Mrs X from Brigham said - Just lovely! Mr Y from Cockermouth said - I've had worse! Miss Z from Broughton said - Ouch!


We've received enquiries from patients who get their medication delivered by Boots, who as a company, have now started to charge for deliveries. Now I'm not trying to poach Boots' business and gaining a delivery patient in Rowrah isn't going to make us our fortune.

Pharmacies are not paid for delivering your medication and the cost of delivering comes out of the profits the pharmacy makes. Pharmacies have faced years of cuts, so unfortunately, unrecoverable costs such as this, are the first thing that a business has to look at. The same can be said for the blister packs we put together to help patients to take their medication.

We have no intention of charging for our service but our ability to keep it as a free service does rely on patients using it fairly. Expecting us to go to Lorton every day with one non-urgent item isn't really what you'd call fair use, or us having to make multiple attempts to deliver as the patient is out and about in town, as is dropping off a prescription and running off before we can do it, so it has to be delivered. If we are delivering these prescriptions, then it gives us less time to deliver urgent prescriptions to housebound patients.

Sorry to moan but it is difficult buying, maintaining, fuelling and insuring a van, as well as employing a driver on what is much-reduced funding. However, if patients work with us, we will do all we can to keep the service going for the benefit of everyone.


We can administer your travel vaccines* and provide antimalarials: • Diphtheria Tetanus and Polio • Hepatitis A

• Hepatitis B • Japanese Encephalitis • Meningitis ACWY • Rabies • Tick Borne Encephalitis • Typhoid

We can also vaccinate against Meningitis B (from 2 years old) Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for both boys and girls

Vaccinations require a consultation with our trained pharmacist and some need to be started weeks before travelling. We aim to give you comprehensive advice and carry a range of vaccines. Many patients have received their vaccination the same or next day at a price that matches or beats most other clinics. * Please note that these are private services and are therefore chargeable. We are not a designated Yellow Fever centre.


We are still offering our ‘drop in’ service with short waiting times and large vaccine stocks.

If you are eligible for a FREE NHS flu jab, then you are welcome to have it with us regardless of which GP surgery you are registered with, as long as it is in the UK.

We also offer a private service for those aged 9 years or over for just £10.

FREE Prescription Collection and Delivery Service Unsure if your prescription is ready? We can send you a text message to let you know when it’s ready

For further information on our services please visit our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

31 Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9LE Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm and Saturday: 8.30am - 4.00pm | 01900 822 292 ISSUE 436 | 24 OCTOBER 2019 | 13


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