Thursday, 31 May 2012

A passport to better service?

Conversation in the Boots pharmacy near the hospital:
me: Hello, one bottle of Movicol liquid* please
pharmacy man [patronisingly]: No, Movicol is a powder that comes in sachets. It's not a liquid.
me: Yes it is, it comes in bottles
pharmacy man: No, it doesn't
me: Yes....
pharmacy man: No, we don't have it.

He was patronising in the extreme, and seemingly isn't used to patients/customers who actually know what they're talking about. Or just assumes that patients/customers don't know what they're talking about.
I've been taking this medication for a while, I know exactly what it is, I don't talk rubbish. I resented the implication that I do.

I found myself regretting that my NHS hospital badge was in my bag and not visibly about my person, as it had been half an hour earlier. It may say medical student, and not 97% doctor, but I imagine it would make it clearer that I do know what I'm talking about. I am so intrigued as to how things might have gone differently if I had been wearing it - I think the conversation would have been very different.
Having said that, I hate the idea that a hospital badge could have been my passport to good service and pleasant treatment. No patient should be assumed to be stupid, and made to feel so, and have to argue to get their valid request across, whether they have a hospital badge or not.

I don't want to be treated better than other people by virtue of my education or profession, I'd rather everyone was treated better.

I really hope after I left he went away and looked up his formulary, so that next time someone asks, he knows that Movicol liquid does exist, and isn't rude. Though I just hope he isn't rude regardless.

*Movicol liquid is a bottle of mild laxative that is diluted and drunk. It's better than the sachets because from a big bottle the dosage can be altered on a daily basis as required, whereas sachets come in a set dosage size. The liquid hasn't been available for very long, and I found out about it from an advert in the BMJ - is that more proof that I know what I'm talking about?!
Direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription medications is not allowed in the UK, as far as I understand (although Movicol is available over the counter in pharmacies as well as on prescription), so the BMJ advert is aimed at prescribers. But that doesn't stop patients like me from seeing it!

No comments:

Post a Comment