Editorial Note: On Tuesday of this week, Donald Trump stated that a trade deal with the U.K. will hopefully include America taking a stake in our National Health Service! What? We have a saying here ‘Over my dead body!’ I hope to goodness that if Donald Trump’s hope ever comes true, my own will follow! ~ SueW.
The midweek word prompt over on GC and my site Weekly Prompts is Drug Store.
Not very long ago Gerry and I had a conversation about drug stores, health services and the differences between our respective countries. Gerry is nostalgic for the independently owned local drug stores that are now almost gone forever in North America since the independents sold out to the pharmaceutical giants, and I really do sympathise with him.
In the UK, the Chemist shop is the name we use for our local pharmacy, we do not use the American term Drug Store. Every High Street has a chemist shop, and I feel fortunate that these independently owned small shops are still a prominent feature of our daily lives, with thousands of them spread across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I suppose in some ways we are a little old fashioned in our wish to preserve our high streets, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My local chemist shop is situated within a parade of shops in the heart of the village.
I’ve known David, my pharmacist for over thirty years, his pharmacist wife Jackie, a little less, and although technology figures highly in all UK pharmacies, the human touch is not lost here. For instance, if I picked up an over the counter drug, David could tell me without even looking at my computerised drug record whether my over the counter choice would clash with anything I was already taking. I believe this is the very thing Gerry is nostalgic for.
Some Chemist shops offer flu and travel vaccinations, many including my own, offer free consultations for minor health issues. The Chemist is also the place to purchase toiletries and health and beauty products.
A number of, but not all of our supermarkets have pharmacy departments within the store.
Boots the Chemist is one of the larger retailers in the UK and is now known as Boots UK since being purchased by Walgreen in 2014, and as a result, Boots became a subsidiary of the new company, Walgreens Boots Alliance
According to Wikipedia, Boots has over 2,500 shops across the United Kingdom and Ireland, ranging from local pharmacies to large health and beauty shops. Their shops are primarily located on the high streets and in shopping centres. They also provide optician and hearing care services within shops and as standalone practices. Boots also operates a retail website and since 1997 has run a loyalty card programme called the Boots Advantage Card.
I’m not happy about large American pharmaceutical companies taking over our high streets and even less happy about the chain Lloyds Pharmacy, it is owned by the German company Celesio, which is, in turn, owned by the American McKesson Corporation.
Lloyds has purchased many of our high street chemist shops, but its reputation isn’t good; a couple of years ago it had to return over twelve million euros to the NHS for falsely claiming individual item prescription fees, it has also been accused of overcharging the NHS for drugs.
Collecting our prescriptions from the smaller chemist shops is often simpler than collecting from the larger stores; the queues normally consist of a steady flow of two to three people and the waiting time is short. Collecting a prescription from a Boots store often entails standing in a queue for some considerable time whilst waiting for your prescription, all the while holding a prescription number on a piece of paper, or returning later to collect it.
Some years ago, my GP’s surgery (physician’s office), was one of only three in the UK to pilot an online repeat prescription service and I became an early volunteer. If eligible, the repeat prescription is requested online, authorised at the GP’s surgery and sent electronically to the chemist of our choice. It is normally ready for collection the following day. The service is now generally offered throughout the UK. Repeat prescriptions usually consist of medications that are needed long-term. Any other medication request will require seeing a GP (doctor).
Once logged into the website I can request my prescriptions and can also make an appointment to see to the doctor of my choice.
I’m not against technology I welcome anything that will improve efficiency, except large pharmaceuticals!
Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In England they are free for those under eighteen, over sixty, pregnant women, including the following twelve months, Cancer patients and those on very low incomes.
GP (General Practitioner), is the name given to our family doctor, we would not refer to s/he as our family physician.
(C) SueW-nansfarm.net 2019 Word Prompt Drug Stores from Weekly Prompts