PROTECT YOUR LOCAL SURGERY & DISPENSARY
My name is Dr Sam Dominey and I am a GP Partner at the Three Chequers Medical Practice.
Recently, most of you will have received a letter from a company called Pharmacy2U.
This is undoubtedly a reputable business and the idea of a company offering to deal with your prescriptions and post your medicines to you at home, avoiding the need to go to the surgery does, on the face of it, sound attractive.
We appreciate that some of our patients will be tempted by this offer, particularly with the recent re-jig of our surgery's dispensing arrangements. However, there are wider implications to signing up to this deal, which may well put our surgeries at risk of closure.
General Practice finance is somewhat complex, but one aspect is that in rural areas, doctors' surgeries may undertake to dispense medicines to patients who live more than a mile from the nearest chemist. The practice is paid for dispensing each prescription, just as chemists are. This is a valuable service to local communities,as is the presence of a branch surgery in the village, but it is expensive and the income from dispensing supports this provision quite significantly.
When our patients from the more rural areas sign up to have their medicines dispensed by Pharmacy2U or any similar company, the practice loses part of its dispensing income. The greater the loss of dispensing income, the greater the threat to the viability of our surgeries.
If the practice were no longer able to afford village surgeries, the health and wellbeing of all of us would be affected, but particularly that of the most vulnerable members of our community.
As the dispensary and medicine management lead GP I am grateful for the opportunity to try and provide a quick update, and I hope some reassurance, regarding the progress we are making following our merger. Why are we changing things? I think we may have asked ourselves the same question a few times, but as always we are trying to make things better. We want to make things more efficient, more convenient and safer. We want to improve our comprehensive dispensary service, to be able to provide repeat, acute and emergency medicines quickly when needed, and to support our most frail and vulnerable patients with home deliveries when required.
We have faced a lot of challenges with some unforeseen setbacks but things are beginning to improve. We are very pleased to have recruited some excellent new staff and they are being trained up now. This will help support our aim of continued growth in our branch surgeries. As a big organisation things can’t change overnight, but we are striving to provide excellent care and we ask for your patience while we implement these changes.
We as a practice want to make people aware that using our dispensary supports the practice and that this is hugely important in helping us provide extra services in our more rural areas.
On behalf of all the team we thank you for your continued support.
The Three Chequers Medical Practice.
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