– Good News Stories

Community Pharmacies –  Providing Great Value For Communities


To download the above leaflet please click here Value of Community Pharmacy


Thank you for the Good News stories you have submitted so far – these are all excellent examples which demonstrate the ‘social value’ added by community pharmacy.

Good News Stories received from North Yorkshire Contractors:

“Our delivery driver saved a woman’s life by accurately recognising the signs and symptoms of stroke.  Before the incident took place, there had recently been a Stroke campaign on television educating people on the warning signs of stroke which resulted in me and my delivery driver having a lengthy discussion about it.  As he was delivering to a care home one day, he noticed that one of his regular delivery patients was not herself.  She was exhibiting signs of stroke, so he immediately rang 999 and swiftly alerted the carers for assistance.  As the paramedics arrived they told my delivery driver that the lady was indeed suffering from stroke and thanks to his swift action, the lady did not suffer from any long term permanent physical damage.  After a few weeks, our delivery driver revisited the lady who had recovered well and fortunately returned to her usual self.”

“I had a lady visit the pharmacy that was complaining of symptoms I immediately associated with Shingles.  She had been unable to get a doctor’s appointment that day, but I marched her round to the local surgery and insisted she be seen, as I knew how important it was to have this condition diagnosed as soon as possible.  They did see her and gave her the necessary treatment to ensure that she didn’t develop full blown shingles.”

“A young man (early 20s) presented at the pharmacy asking for a treatment for a UTI.  He had googled his symptoms and had decided that this was the most likely cause of his problems.  The pharmacist was called and after a discussion an urgent appointment was made with his GP.  His symptoms were more indicative of diabetes than a UTI.  A little while later the same patient came back to the pharmacy with a script for metformin.  Twenty fours later the same patient came back following an appointment with a consultant having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and handed a script for insulin and other equipment.  Had he left the pharmacy with what he initially wanted, the consequences could have been significant.”

“An elderly lady came to the pharmacy with a very obvious head wound.  She was confused and not sure why she had come to the pharmacy.  The patient was well known to the pharmacy team who wasted no time in helping.  She wasn’t able to make much sense but insisted she didn’t want help.  The pharmacy team rang for an ambulance with the paramedics arriving quickly.  At this point the elderly lady told the paramedics that she had been attacked and as a result the police were also called.  The lady was persuaded to go in the ambulance to hospital while one of the pharmacy team helped the police.  What had actually happened is she had had a fall at home and then walked to the pharmacy.  She was discharged from hospital four or five days later and was back to her normal self soon after.”

“One afternoon a lady walked in with her daughter and was concerned about a rash she had.  She suspected slap cheek syndrome and wanted a second opinion.  The child had temperature and though not very drowsy and extremely weak, she looked ill.  My dispenser called me and we tried to rule out measles etc.  I asked if she had done a glass test which she said she had not.  A glass test was carried out and as a result, she took her daughter to And E and yes she had meningitis.  She came back to thank us for helping her daughter get the right treatment.”

“In the summer of 2015, a patient presented with obvious eye distress. His eyes were burning and he could barely see. Our pharmacist realising that this was not just a simple eye problem rinsed his eyes out with saline solution and told the patient to go to casualty as soon as possible. He came back into the shop a few days later. It transpired that the gentleman had got dishwasher fluid on his hair and because it was raining outside, it had washed into his eyes. At casualty, he was told that our pharmacist’s prompt action almost certainly saved his sight.”

“Our services include free measurement of patient blood pressure. A patient who was feeling unwell presented with a blood pressure of 205/120. We rang the patient’s surgery asking for an urgent appointment with the doctor. The patient was seen within half an hour and was hospitalised immediately.”

“An elderly patient who has a tendency to wander had caught a bus into York and had stopped off at a pub on the way. The pub rang us as he was in distress and the only identification he had was a prescription with his name and address on it. We organised for our driver to go and pick him up and take him home.”

“Just this Saturday,  a 66 year old lady called in to see me.  She had come out shopping and was feeling a little unwell.  She had just been talking to the lady in the wallpaper shop,  who advised her to go straight home,  make a cup of tea and go to bed.  She came in to see me instead, as she knew me and thought I would be able to tell her what was wrong with her.  I dialled 999 as I immediately recognised the lady was having a stroke.  This was confirmed by the ambulance driver and she was admitted to hospital.   Had she followed the advice of the lady in the wallpaper shop who knows what would have happened.”

“A lady called into the Pharmacy to buy a bottle of Calpol for her daughter.  On asking about the symptoms, they sounded quite severe and the Pharmacist took over the sale.  Mother was advised to check for the symptoms of meningitis,  which the mother had not considered.  A few days later,  the mother called back into the Pharmacy to thank us for alerting her.  The daughter was admitted to hospital immediately and treated for meningitis.”

“A middle aged lady asked for the Pharmacist’s advice.  She was feeling unwell and had been declined an appointment with the GP until the following week.  The Pharmacist took her blood pressure which was dangerously high,  together with a pulse rate of 120.  The Pharmacist telephoned the GP and requested an urgent appointment immediately.  She was escorted to the surgery by a member of staff and admitted to hospital straight away. She made a full recovery.”

“A middle aged gentleman called in to collect his monitored dose system.   He commented to a member of staff that he was not feeling well and had to drive back home.  We advised him not to drive and instead to call a taxi.  We agreed he could wait in the Pharmacy while he decided what to do.  He then became very unwell.  We called an ambulance to him and he stayed in hospital for several days.   We could have prevented a serious accident here.”

“We often provide impromptu changes to MDS systems the same day at the request of the Hospital, or even in just a few hours in the afternoon, thereby facilitating early discharge from hospital, saving an overnight stay.”

“We now offer Malaria Prophylaxis for all types of treatment, the GPs have stopped supplying advice or private prescriptions, we access private prescriptions through a PGD. I have supplied to many customers but the system highlighted one gentleman who had no spleen and was advised not to travel , in the past he may have just bought an over the counter product and not had the full advice.”

“I had a patient who just came in to pick up his prescription and I noticed a suspect growth on his ear. He thought it was nothing but I suspected otherwise and rang the GP surgery and made him an immediate appointment. He came and told me that he was referred immediately to the hospital and within the week had had surgery for malignancy.”

“I have had more than one patient having an angina attack in the pharmacy and have administered GTN and contacted the GP surgery.”

“A receptionist came into the pharmacy with a former patient of ours trying to establish where her prescription might be. This patient had been moved to a different pharmacy for deliveries and we had no prescription for her but as luck would have it the patient’s niece who works at our pharmacy was working that day and it was established that the patient had actually left her house to go to the local delicatessen to buy a sandwich. Unfortunately the patient had forgotten where she was going and had turned right instead of left at the end of the road and ended up at the surgery next to our pharmacy. Her niece was then able to contact her husband who came in the car to take the lady home.”

“A member of my staff took a delivery to a patient of ours on her way home from work as the delivery driver had already gone home. On arriving at the house the patient in question said that she had had nothing to eat all day. Not wanting to leave her without anything, Linda drove to another member of staff’s house whom she knew sometimes took the patient out for lunch. This member of staff then returned to our patient to sort her out but in the meantime a carer had arrived and the mix up was sorted.”

“Simply asking an elderly lady about her asthma as she had had a couple of prescriptions for antibiotics resulted in checking her inhaler use.  I found she was ordering 2 inhalers each month that she could not use correctly.  After contacting her GP the treatment was changed.  The lady now has better control of her asthma so it improved her quality of life and she should need fewer antibiotics in the future.  As an added bonus the new treatment is saving the NHS about £20 per month.  All because a pharmacist could ‘afford’ to give some of his time free.”

“Interception of a forged prescription prevented possible overdose to a vulnerable young person.”

“Talking to a young lady about thrush treatments and sending her to see her GP (rather than selling her the treatment she requested) found she was type 2 diabetic.  Early treatment will save a lot of health issues later.”

“Due to our pharmacy’s location in Whitby, we deal with a significant number of patients requesting emergency supplies of Prescription Only medicines that patients have forgotten or run out of whilst on holiday.  During the busy summer months we can deal with 5 or 6 requests each day, ranging from lost asthma inhalers, missed insulin doses and forgotten blood pressure tablets.  Each request that we deal with is one less request for a GP appointment, attendance at Minor Injuries or taking up the time of the Out of Hours doctor.”

“Last Friday afternoon I was visited by the relatives of an elderly lady, who had been discharged from rehabilitation care, without any medication because she had told them she had some at home.  The lady in question has recently become quite forgetful and didn’t have any medication at home.  The lady’s GP didn’t have any appointments available.  After a couple of hours my Technician had verified her medication with the hospital pharmacy from her discharge to the rehabilitation home and I contacted the GP.  I provided her with an emergency supply of all her medication, packaged in a compliance aid, to ensure she could remain at home, giving the GP time to book a visit for the following week.  The whole incident was time consuming, the family were grateful for our intervention.  The pharmacy made no profit from our intervention.  We did it because we care about our community.”

“Last week when delivering medications to one of our elderly ladies, a free service we offer, my delivery lady was unable to get her to hear the doorbell.  She could see her sat in the chair.  Luckily, we have the code for her key safe box and so could get in.  She was unable to move and was quite confused.  My delivery lady phoned for an ambulance and contacted the lady’s daughter.  She then stayed with her for 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.  Another member of staff then contacted others on her route to advise of the delay.  The lady was admitted to hospital with a UTI, and is now making a recovery.”

“A distressed young lady came into the pharmacy late Saturday afternoon, after having unprotected sex the previous night.  She was extremely upset and worried about the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy.  I was able to supply her with emergency contraception and referred her to the sexual health clinic for STI testing.  Furthermore, I advised her about the need for regular contraception, thereafter the patient made an appointment to see her GP the following week.”

“A gentleman came into the pharmacy asking for clotrimazole, a treatment used for thrush.  After taking him into the consultation room he advised me that he had been suffering from this very regularly.  On further investigation, we found out that he was type 1 diabetic.  I advised him that his diabetes might not be well controlled if he is suffering from thrush, due to high sugar levels which prove favourable for bacteria to thrive.  I referred him to his GP who then reviewed his treatment.  Later on, the patient presented in the pharmacy with a new prescription for diabetic medication.”

“We had collected an elderly lady’s regular prescription from the local Group Practice and noticed that a new medication had been prescribed for her. When she called to collect her prescription, I was able to have a conversation about this new medication and it quickly became apparent that the new medication was intended for another patient with the same name. If this hadn’t been discovered, the consequences could have been significant.”

“Recently a man with advanced liver disease, living in sheltered accommodation was discharged from a hospital stay with medication for one week. The medication included antiepileptic and antiencephalopathic treatments. I was contacted out of hours by a carer a week later as his medicines had run out. Despite being closed I liaised with his GP and arranged an immediate supply of his medication. Without this he would almost certainly have been readmitted to hospital at best and suffered significant medical problems at worst. This intervention saved the NHS money and the patient considerable suffering.”

“A few months ago, one of our regular customers with special needs was noted by one of our staff to look ‘off colour’.  One of our pharmacists spoke to him and realising that he looked jaundiced immediately contacted the surgery and arranged for a consultation. Within a few hours this customer was undergoing hospital investigations and subsequently he was successfully treated for cholestatic jaundice.”

“Due to the collapse of the bridge at Tadcaster during the December 2015 floods, many residents who live on the west bank of the river were cut off from essential medical services and GP appointments provided at the Tadcaster Medical Centre which is located on the east bank.  Realising this, Calcaria Pharmacy situated on the west bank, set about working with local GPs based at Tadcaster Medical Centre to host GP Surgeries in its pharmacy consultation room.”