A patient has hit out after a pharmacy gave her the wrong drugs.
Laura Brown has hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA),two serious brain conditions, for which she requires medication.
Miss Brown has urged people to check their medication when collecting from a pharmacy.
She spoke to the Manx Independent about the issues she has been facing with the Lloyds pharmacist on Parliament Street, Ramsey, and how she has been treated.
‘I asked one of the workers to tell the pharmacists that they had given me someone else’s medication to my carer.
‘Looking from their point of view, this situation was bad for them, not me, that’s how it comes across.
Miss Brown’s illnesses affect her memory, although she had written down her account of what had happened.
The only reason she didn’t take the wrong pill was because she didn’t recognise the colour of the pill once she saw the casing.
Miss Brown was also given syringes for a diabetic patient, and she is not diabetic.
She said: ‘I had to spell it out for her [the pharmacist worker], I said, “Do you not realise that I could have been seriously ill, or even died?”’
‘She was laughing.’
Ms Brown, who before falling ill, ran her own bed and breakfast business in Spain, felt that the pharmacy wasn’t taking her concerns seriously.
She said: ‘They thought they could get away with laughing, she said to me, “Oh, you silly thing, why didn’t you tell me about this at the beginning?”
‘I was infuriated, it was shocking, they were more concerned about how it would look to them.
‘There was no empathy, no apology, nothing.’
Miss Brown does understand the difficulties that some staff are facing and empathises with them.
She said: ‘You’ve got the poor young girls, maybe their first job out of school, and they’re just dumped in at the deep end.’
Ms Brown also has issues with gaining access to her medication with the chemist and her general practice.
She said: ‘Sometimes they blame it on the surgery. I go to Ramsey Group Practice and sometimes they tell me they don’t have it [her prescription] and that the chemist has it.
‘I then phoned the chemist and they tell me to come back tomorrow as they haven’t got it.’
Miss Brown requires a walking frame to get about and the miscommunication between the practice and the chemist frustrates her as it’s not as easy for her to move about.
The Manx Independent contacted Lloyds pharmacy for comment.
A spokesman said: ‘We are unable to comment on individual patients.
‘Medication errors occur infrequently. However, we have robust processes and procedures around the reporting of any dispensing incidents that sadly may occur.’
Ms Brown contacted the pharmacy to set up an appointment to discuss her experiences with the manager but she has been waiting for over three weeks now for the manager to get back to her.
In the summer Lloyds Pharmacies in Ramsey were suffering high levels of staff absence, prompting complaints from customers.
It operates three pharmacies in the town.
The situation in the town was highlighted in a House of Keys question in October.
Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper described service levels of the ‘monopoly provision’ as ‘clearly not acceptable’.
He has since become the Minister for Health and Social Care again.
In October the then Health Minister, Rob Callister, said Manx Care was working with Lloyds about provision in the town.