Patients in North Somerset had to wait 10 days for medication – due to a backlog of prescription requests.
Staff at Wrington Pharmacy put up a sign in the window of the Broad Street dispensary warning customers after some were forced to wait 10 to 12 days to take their medication.
The backlog has been building up since mid-September and mainly concerned patients at the Mendip Vale medical practice who wanted repeated medication.
READ MORE: Urgent call for volunteers at Covid booster jab sites
Those who want medication normally take a white slip from the pharmacy.
The slip is then sent electronically by pharmacy staff to Mendip Vale to be processed and signed before being returned to the pharmacy for preparation and delivery.
The delay angered some villagers who had to wait for medicine.
One patient – whose child had to wait days to get cream for a skin condition – said: “It is a real concern that there is such a wait for prescriptions via surgery.
“Arranging to see a general practitioner is already incredibly difficult as the practice has around 60,000 patients covering areas ranging from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol and Clevedon.
“I’ve heard that sometimes there are as many as 2,000 prescriptions waiting and waiting to be processed.”
Staff at Wrington Pharmacy said the backlog has been an issue for several weeks.
“It’s frustrating,” said a staff member.
“But the problem is with the surgery.
“As soon as we get the prescriptions at the pharmacy, we can prepare and dispense them. “
Mendip Vale bosses said a new computer system – ProScript – had now been installed and the backlog of drug claims had now been “caught up”.
The practice has surgeries in Yatton, Congresbury, Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare as well as Bristol.
Mendip Vale Chief Executive Officer David Clark said: “It was in our plan to introduce a new ProScript system to the firm before this winter.
“This work is now complete and the new system is in place.
“Our clinical and administrative staff worked all weekend to deal with the backlog and now we believe all drug requests are up to date.
“We know this has been a frustrating time for patients, but we hope this new system will ensure that it doesn’t happen again. “
Get the best stories about the things you love most curated by us and delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you like here
Mr Clark said the practice has also seen a 30% increase in demand in recent months as it gets busy administering thousands of covid booster jabs.
The practice was the first in northern Somerset to administer covid vaccines when the vaccination program began late last year.
So far this year, it has delivered 17,000 injections to patients – and thousands more are planned.
The practice has approximately 70,000 patients on its registers, 46,000 of whom live in North Somerset.
Mr Clark said: “The practice is to do activities that she would not normally do due to the pandemic.
“All of our staff went the extra mile to help us get through, but like everywhere else we also suffer from staff sickness issues. “
Mr Clark said people can also go online to order their repeat prescriptions or use the app.
Want our best stories with fewer announcements and alerts when the biggest news falls? Download our app or iPhoneWhere Android.