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  • npa chemists defence assosiation

    Dear all, I am an employer pharmacist, but am very sympathetic to the demise of employee
    pharmacists withour whom the world would come to a standstill.
    I hope I have always treated them with respect and been fair to them.
    Recently I made a dispensing error, I checked a prescription for chloramphenicol eye drops but did not notice that the ear drops were infact labelled in front of me.
    I have had all hell to pay, The patient reported it to the PCT even though I visited the patient with the correct formulation less than 24 hours after the event. The drops were never administered to this baby but unfortunately I am at the written apology stage.
    I put a copy of this letter of apology in front of the CDA and asked the on duty pharmacy advisor about the content of the reply. I was astounded that he was totally useless,
    He was very critical of me without foundation and agreed with the patient that my visit to the
    patients house with the correct formulatioin was harrassment.
    I was very calm during my conversation with im but came away feeling that the NPA was as much use as a chocolate fire guard at protecting their members.
    I would love to have the PDA to represent me but they only work for pharmacy employees.
    Does anyone know of any other legal defence team that could support pharmacy owners?
    With support from the CDA like this I may aswell close shop now, I hope this response from the NPA was just one bad member of staff, if so how do I go about telling someone in the NPA about him.

  • #2
    Re: npa chemists defence assosiation

    I was saddened when I read your post. This shows how much pharmacists are vulnerable and unfairly treated.

    Try to call the "Listening Friends" Tel (helpline): 020 7572 2442, Tel (admin): 01323 890 135, 24 hour answerphone service. They are pharmacists and might be able to suggest a solution!

    In my opinion, you did the right thing; we are human and we all make mistakes from time to time. By telling the baby's parents about the mistake and rectifying it you have followed the RPSGB’s code of ethics: make the care of patients your first concern. (If no proven serious harm was done to the patient as a result of an error, the patient would not get any compensation.)

    God bless you.

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    • #3
      Re: npa chemists defence assosiation

      who actually noticed the mistake and how was it communicated? i.e. did you find out yourself, if so, how did you tell the parents, why you were visiting them?
      We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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      • #4
        Re: npa chemists defence assosiation

        I'm just simply gobsmacked! I can't believe that going round to someone's house to rectify a mistake can in any way constitute harassment! You were going round there to prevent someone from being harmed.

        If i were you see if you can get some advice from one of the legal team employed by the PDA in an private capacity (ie not through the pda). At the very least i would ring the npa back, find out some more details about the individual and lodge a formal complaint against the joker giving out poorly considered legal advice.

        I'm in agreement with ramroum - you did everything in your power to make sure nobody came to any harm after a mistake was made and i fail to see how that can reflect badly on you in any legal sense - especially as the patient was completely unharmed.

        To me it smacks of the parents looking for a quick few quid and the NPA not wanting the potential of having to pay anything out (typical insurance tactic - worming out of not paying).
        Stand your ground and make sure everything you do regarding the issue is written down. Make sure your dispenser etc involved with the incident are kept fully in the loop and are willing to co-operate in any sort of formal inquiries.
        “It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing.”

        Terry Pratchett

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        • #5
          Re: npa chemists defence assosiation

          And, of course, if had been locum and PCT/govnmt suspended all employment in NHS until matter resolved, then locum would be ruined in every way possible. If had been NHS employee, then would merely be suspended on full pay. Excellent topic for PDA to take up.
          johnep

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          • #6
            Re: npa chemists defence assosiation

            I am horrified and scared by the way in which human error is being dealt with now in all the professions. Experienced and competent staff are being hounded out of their jobs/livelihoods and peace of mind/enjoyment of the job over issues such as this. The stress and sleepless nights are horrendous - yet no harm was done. You did what any caring professional should do - rectified an error in a practical way. No way was this harrassment. You will feel very alone - but I can assure you that something like this is happening frequently. We always think "it'll never happen to me" - but Kafka new better. Trawl the internet for advice and precedent and get a good lawyer. I'm not a pharmacist; but I have seen the patterns. Staff just leave. Or get very ill. But nothing will change because of fear and everyone thinking "it'll never happen to me". I hope you find some help and comfort - and you need to Thank God you are not a penniless, powerless student.

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