Reply to post: Not the right people getting the grief

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Not the right people getting the grief

My wife is a community Pharamacist running a small shop serving the local rural communities. She is always very fair in her pricing for the people who have little opportunity to go elsewhere for their over the counter supplies, surgical fittings, smoking cessation, prescriptions and all the 101 other services that Pharmacists are expected to do these days. (For the past 2.5 years her average is over 1 person a month having a heart-attack in her store, as access to 'normal' NHS services are so restricted.)

However, she has received a lot of abuse from people who want to buy Paracetamol, or Calpol, because she cannot buy it - not even for those who have large doses under prescription. Or because the stock of other items that she has on the shelves has doubled in price, to reflect the huge increases in prices charged by the wholesalers (she is still taking the same monetary sliver off the top to cover costs, not a percentage!)

And then you have all the ill people coming in who cannot get an appointment to see a doctor. This is always around 30% of people coming in just asking for advice from anyone, even after my wife reminds them that she is not medically trained - see note above about heart-attacks! But now it is running at over 60% as almost everyone wants to talk about some illness, even if they are actually buying something (40%). Quite a lot of these people have believed the government bluster about Covid-19 tests and are expecting the Pharmacy to stock it - NHS staff are not even getting protective equipment, let alone the test themselves!

As she works largely on her own (except for the independent prescription checking) she now has to lock the door and only let one person into the shop at a time.

She shouldn't have to spend at least an hour a day (nominally her lunch break) chasing non-existent supplies. She shouldn't have to receive so much abuse, being the only face of the NHS the great unwashed public can meet. She shouldn't have to perform time consuming crowd control to enforce social-isolating and stop the thieving of the shelves. She shouldn't have to do most of the prescription tasks after the shop closes, including the supplies for a number of nursing homes and 2 retirement villages.

70+ hour weeks, abuse from customers, lack of stock and price gouging by the wholesalers, lack of any protection from the great unwashed, the only face of the NHS that people can see. All this will weaken her for when someone in the shop does give her Covid-19, and given her mechanical heart valve, my daughters and I will have to bury her.

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