Tuesday, 18 August 2015

This message intentionally left blank

Someone tell me why the repeat prescription form for my surgery insists I include a "message".

I mean, when done on paper, no "message" is needed!

I have done "Still diabetic" and "Why do you need a message?"

I may have to do "This message intentionally left blank", and, of course, "This message unintentionally left blank" as well as "This is not a message, honest".

I mean, what the hell is the point?

Is it some sort of NHS sarcasm test?

P.S. What is especially annoying is that when I do have cause to add some genuine message, it is always ignored.


  1. I thought this was just me.

    I used to get this when ordering (ironically) my High BP pills. I'm convinced it's designed to deliberately incense those with a short fuse like moi, thus generating high blood pressure so I can then have dosage increased to calm it down. They then get the repeat business as does their preferred pharmaceutical's drug supplier.

    Or am I just being cynical as usual?

  2. I've always found the web software used by my local GP surgery amateurish beyond belief. I suspect it's not the same as yours (because it doesn't require a message for a repeat prescription) but you get the feeling that for the developers, a web page with two text fields, a couple of tick boxes and a submit button is stretching their technical capabilities beyond endurance. The appearance makes it look like it was done by a school child about 20 years ago. My first web page - look how many colours I can use.

    What's worse is that it seems to be a bureau service, used by quite a number of surgeries. I shudder to think what they charge for it.

  3. My GP moved entirely to what seems to be a government gateway for these things.

    It took them 12 months to get me a login, and although the system 'works' it doesn't give the promised access to your notes. It has a booking system.. which doesn't work (the one time I tried to use it they rang up as it'd allocated me a time they didn't have free).

    Plus, I don't even use it since Boots have a system where they'll handle the repeat for you and you just pick up from them once a month.

  4. Does it have to be text? Or could you put in a link to a 40GB image of the London skyline?

  5. The online system used by my doctors' surgery allows one to add a message but doesn't mandate a message.

    However, as the surgery is administered by idiots I end up adding messages most of the time.

    My repeat prescription form has 5 items on it. Two items are for medicines based on Fluticasone Propionate - one is a dry powder inhaler, the other is a nasal spray. When I ask for one of these items in a repeat prescription, it's pot luck which one they issue. I guess they just look at the first word or 2 on the request. So I add a message like "Nasal spray please" and that makes it harder for them to get it wrong.

    Just to spice things up further, the surgery cannot issue the nasal spray electronically (my pharmacist tells me there are 2 surgeries locally which have to issue a paper prescription for the nasal spray). Every now and then the surgery decides to issue a paper prescription for the inhaler too. So I've tried adding a message to the repeat prescription request saying "please issue this electronically, you've done so in the past". Last time I did this, the prescription didn't appear at the pharmacists so I went down to the surgery - they handed me the paper prescription which had "Parkview Pharmacy" written in biro across the top of it. I still don't know whether this was their idea of a joke or not.