Northampton pharmacy under fire after reviewers branded it 'laughable' and 'chaotic'
An under-fire pharmacy in the same building as the lowest-rated doctor's surgery in Northampton has apologised to its customers after a run of shocking reviews.
Last week the Chronicle and Echo revealed that only 39.2 per cent of patients at St Luke's Primary Care Centre in Timken Way, Duston would recommend the service to others, giving it the lowest approval rating for any practice in the town on the NHS Choices website.
But this week it has emerged the pharmacy next door to it is among the worst in the town also.
All 11 customer reviews on the NHS Choices website posted since March give it a score of one out of five.
Complaints range from people receiving the wrong items in their prescriptions to lengthy waiting times. On occasions, people have ordered prescriptions only to be told there was no record of the order being placed on collection day.
"So shockingly bad it's almost laughable." Wrote one anonymous poster on NHS Choices. "They rarely ever have the prescription ready and regularly miss an item out!"
Others have blamed the parent company, Well, for the poor service.
"Since this pharmacy changed to the Well brand, it has become increasingly disorganised and chaotic" wrote another reviewer.
This weekend Duston man Michael Boulden, 39, went to pick up some on October eyedrops for his 70-year-old mother, who has glaucoma.
When the teacher got there he was told the repeat prescription had not been ordered.
Staff told him the drops would be at the pharmacy by Monday (yesterday).
But when he turned up the second time he was told the blunder had occured again and that the eyedrops would not be available until this coming Friday.
He said: "My mother is frustrated, she is concerned. She has only recently been told she has advanced glaucoma in her right eye.
"Then all of a sudden they are telling us we haven't ordered her eyedrops. I just don't know how that can be.
"Every time we go in there someone is at the counter complaining because the staff can't find someone's medication."
Well, the Manchester-based company that runs the pharmacy says that- like St Lukes Primary VCare Centre next door - its patient number s have ballooned in recent months.
A spokeswoman for the company said: "We are aware that there have been a number of operational issues at our Well Duston store over the last few months, and we would firstly like to apologise to any customers that have been affected by this. We really value our customers at Well and are working hard to resolve these issues to give them the best possible customer experience, and to ensure we are doing everything we can to look after their health.
"We’ve been working closely with the local management team to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, and are implementing new ways of working. The number of patients accessing healthcare services has grown dramatically, which has a knock-on effect on our pharmacy. The staffing hours in the store have now been reviewed to make sure we have sufficient staff available to provide a high level of service to our customers at all times.
"We are committed to resolving these issues and providing a high standard of customer care. We know there’s still more to do and we’d like to kindly ask the local community to bear with us as we work to improve our service to them."