Swine flu prescription blunder at Huddersfield pharmacies
Jul 25 2009 By Dave Himelfield
HUDDERSFIELD swine flu sufferers faced a day of chaos as they fought to get their Tamiflu prescriptions under a new system.
People logging on to the new National Pandemic Flu Service with symptoms were being sent as far afield as Barnsley to collect antiviral drugs yesterday – because of a Government blunder.
Local pharmacies earmarked to hand out prescriptions using the new authorisation codes were also being forced to turn patients away.
Asda pharmacy, on Bradford Road, was unable to process prescriptions issued under the system because the Department of Health had failed to register the store correctly.
Phil Turner, of Crosland Moor, was among those being turned away. He was acting as a “flu friend” for his 77-year-old mother who diagnosed with swine flu on Thursday at 10pm.
She was unable to get her prescription until after 6pm on Friday when Greenhead Pharmacy went live on the new system.
He said: “My poor mum has had flu-like symptoms for over 24 hours now and has to wait another day before she can get her Tamiflu.
“If mum deteriorates or even dies it will become a much more serious story in my eyes.”
Jenny Coupland, of Longwood, was also turned away from Asda as she tried to collect Tamiflu for husband Garry.
She eventually had to ask her GP to fax through a prescription to the store.
She said: “If the Government is going to do something then they should at least get it right.”
The National Flu Pandemic Service was launched on Thursday to help ease the pressure on NHS Direct as swine flu cases soared nationally.