Pulling Together


Things not working — Part 3

For many years I have ordered my repeat prescriptions on line. Then, last autumn, the process stopped working. The provider replied it could not contact my GP’s surgery and advised me to contact them to have the matter rectified.

Since then I have tried to persuade the surgery there is a problem, but all they will do is revoke my access and re-enable it. They say that’s the only remedy they have and suggest I should get a smartphone. They seem unable to understand I have no trouble accessing the service itself, but the service cannot contact them.

I am an out-of-area patient because having two chronic conditions which need monitoring, I have to maintain continuity, especially as the last time I moved practices my notes were lost. I simply cannot afford that happening again; it would be too dangerous if my conditions ceased to be monitored because the GP had no past measurements to compare. However, living out of the normal service area does make it harder to visit the surgery to drop off repeat prescription requests. Being able to do it from my desk at home is a real advantage.

Yet, the on line system is not working now and I have no choice. I really want to get the system working again, but blame is passed backwards and forwards between the provider and the GP.

The provider says it is my GP’s responsibility to ensure the central system can access its system. The GP claims it has no system and everything is provided by the NHS centrally. Somewhere there is a misunderstanding but I’m in no position to identify who is right and who is wrong. I just know the system as a whole, which was very useful to me, no longer functions.

Once again we see how public services, whether provided by public or private bodies, which constitute part of the environment in which ordinary people live our lives, just are not working reliably. Anyone reading this will have their own tail of things which are supposed to be our entitlement which we cannot get to work, whether it’s holding on listening to hold music when we need our time for other things or trying to get someone to take responsibility, having roads repaired or the rubbish collected, getting a refund on something delivered broken or getting something delivered at all, we all experience an extreme level of dysfunction every day.

This has to stop. We really do need to get to a world where things can be done, where systems work as intended, where rights are not just held but accessible. In short, as a society, we need to make things work again.

About the Author

K J Petrie has a Full Technological Certificate in Radio, TV and Electronics, an HNC in Digital Electronics and a BA(Hons) in Theological Studies.

His interests include Christian and societal unity, Diverse Diversity, and freedoms from want, from fear, of speech, and of association. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party.

The views expressed here are entirely personal and unconnected with any body to which he belongs.

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