Bexley under pressure

Your briefing on the future of South London Healthcare Trust claims there has been a “significant cost problem for South London caused by the failings of social care in the area” and in particular Bexley.

‘Despite the challenges posed to us by the Queen Mary’s Sidcup move we are able to maintain negligible levels of delayed discharges’

We would ask you to note that our neighbouring boroughs have more comprehensive community health services to help avoid admission or facilitate discharge. In Bexley, we currently do not have such services and despite the challenges posed to us by the Queen Mary’s Sidcup move we are able to maintain negligible levels of delayed discharges.

We would also point out that Bexley is one of only two London boroughs without a district hospital and as such Bexley’s social services are under the additional pressure of having social care input into a number of different local hospitals.

Without a doubt the Queen Mary’s Sidcup changes have had a significant impact on council resources in staff time and costs, however, to state that there are “failings” in our social care services would be wrong.

We continue to provide the best possible service for our residents.

Chris Taylor, cabinet member for adult services, Bexley Borough Council

Nothing compares 2U

In response to Neil Churchill’s article on Asda selling blue asthma inhalers, it is possible to improve patient choice without compromising on clinical safety.

For the last 10 years, Pharmacy2U has run a free NHS repeat prescription management service in partnership with more than 300 GP practices - ensuring that patients need never run out of vital medication.

‘Patients need never run out of vital medication’

The service - which is used by many asthma sufferers - makes it easy for patients to manage repeat medication by giving them telephone or email reminders that a script is due. We electronically order the script from their GP and deliver the medication to any UK address (home or work).

Clinical safety is fundamental. Patients can only request medication from their “current” list and our in-house pharmacist flags any unusual requests or concerns to the GP, who has to authorise each prescription. We are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

The result is less hassle for the patient and, we believe, improved compliance with their medication regime (the London School of Pharmacy is currently researching this for us in a three-year study).

Dr Julian Harrison, director, Pharmacy2U