GPs are trialling a scheme which will mean they will no longer write prescriptions for medicines which require regular blood tests.

Southend Hospital is now dealing with prescribing for a range of medications including warfarin and other blood thinners which require regular tests to ascertain the correct dosage.

Those with ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis or patients on steroids living in the Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group areas are now dealt with by Southend Hospital.


Patient Roger Gardiner, of Ashingdon Road, Rochford, said: “Apparently the doctors had a big meeting and decided to not do prescriptions that require a blood test. They didn’t want the responsibility anymore, but it’s been a shambles.

“I got a letter through the door but it wasn’t on headed notepaper from the hospital. There was an email address on it but it was wrong. It just looked like a scam. My chemist knew nothing about it. When I went for my blood test the phlebotomist didn’t know about it and I phoned up the patient group PALS but they knew nothing either.

“The pharmacist has been inundated with calls. We have to wait two weeks for the prescription and they aren’t even sent out electronically. They are posted and if its wrong they send a courier with another one.”

Mr Gardiner, 70, who suffers with ulcerative colitis and needs a blood test every three months added: “People are running out of medication and doctors won’t prescribe any more. I know a lot of people have had to have their prescription sent by courier.

“When you order your medication you are supposed to get an automated message sent back but it hasn’t been set up yet. The doctors were supposed to send out letters but they haven’t. It has all been done very hastily.

A spokesperson for NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group said: “There are a number of medicines that require regular monitoring through blood tests. We are exploring different ways to do this to ensure that we maintain the highest quality, safe and effective services and the best patient experience when using those services. Some people registered with practices in the Castle Point and Rochford area have been contacted by their practice and receive this service directly from the hospital. We encourage anyone who has experienced any inconvenience to bring this to our attention so it can be resolved quickly.”