Community News

New prescription service at Merrywood

Merrywood is the first Bristol practice to set up a new system for prescription ordering.

Patients are no longer able to request medication using a third party – such as a chemist – but should now drop their prescription to the practice or order online.

The system came into force last November and has been adopted throughout some other UK cities such as Liverpool.

Merrywood Practice, based in Downton Road, has said it is for patient safety and to avoid wastage. It also saves chemists a lot of time.

But some older people living on their own have been concerned about having to walk to the surgery instead of popping in to their local chemist, and are not able to order online.

Resident Ann Smith 80 said: “It’s hard for people to get up there and there are some people who live on their own and can’t get out. – but they still have to get their tablets.

“Not everyone has family and some people don’t like asking neighbours or anyone to do things for them.

“I’m lucky I can use The Sprint bus because I can’t walk there but some people can’t and a lot of people don’t have a phone like I have with the internet.”

Ann said she had been contacted by the practice and they were going to show her how to order on her phone.

Practice Manager Vicki Staatz said: “Everyone has to consider getting their prescriptions the same way as milk and bread – most people have someone who helps them with it or order online. 

“The reason we no longer allow chemists to order on a patient’s behalf is because there is so much wasted medicine – also it is a safety thing, with a third person in the process the risk increases.

“It is every two months and most people have someone who could drop it in to us or set them up online.”

She said if some elderly people were struggling but had a younger person to help, they could “have the online requesting” set up on a friend or relative’s phone.

She added: “If someone is really stuck and has no help whatsoever or family members they can contact the practice and we can have a chat and we normally find a solution.”