The GP magazine Pulse reported on Friday 18th November that ‘GPs raise alarm over hospital discharge letter delays’. http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk
I am sure pharmacists would concur with that. It was estimated that up to 40% of hospital discharge notes never reach GPs. This may be due to the postman, hospital admin staff, those crazy GP receptionists who are too busy making clinical interventions (see ‘Can I take your order please’ post) or other factors.
Sometimes the hospital will give a weeks supply of medicines. This may be enough time to sort out a new prescription from the GP but generally it is not. Patients come to us to ask us to order their new medicines straight after discharge and we have to explain that we are not able to order it as the surgery will just ignore the request as the patient has not had it before.
It would be helpful if pharmacists got sent a copy of the discharge letter too with patients consent. This would act as a back up and keep us in the loop. On more than one occasion, I have to fax a copy of the patients discharge copy to the surgery as they had not got one.