Patients Service Levels
In most cases, Specialist Pharmacy can compound and dispense medication within 24 hours of the order being made by the patient or doctor. At busy times (particularly June, July, November, December) or if a non-compounded item is not in stock, this timescale may increase to up to three working days from the point of order, dependent upon the manufacturer.
Specialist Pharmacy will confirm a likely dispensing date to you at the time of payment. Please note that delivery times are in addition to the dispensing time.
Payment for Medication
Specialist Pharmacy compounds medication for a patient based on the individual prescription. Due to this personalisation, patients must pay for their medication before it will be compounded and an order cannot be cancelled once paid for.
Payment is only accepted by debit or credit card. Should a patient give their permission, the Specialist Pharmacy will store payment card details on a third party secure system. At the time of the next order, the Specialist Pharmacy cannot see the full card details but can take payment quickly by entering the security code on the relevant card. Receipts will be emailed after payment taken.
Delivery of Medication
Specialist Pharmacy does not have a retail outlet and takes all orders over the telephone or via email. Once dispensed, medications will be posted to the patient or the prescribing health practitioner using the delivery method agreed at the time of order.
If the delivery method is first class post to a UK address, the patient is advised to wait for two weeks from the given dispensing date before contacting the Specialist Pharmacy. If the medication has not arrived by this point, the Specialist Pharmacy will issue replacement products.
If the delivery method is first class post to an address within the European Union (EU), the patient is advised to wait for four weeks from the given dispensing date before contacting the Specialist Pharmacy. If the medication has not arrived by this point, the Specialist Pharmacy will issue replacement products.
All other delivery options are tracked and the Specialist Pharmacy can quickly find out the whereabouts of the medication.
Please note that for delivery addresses outside of the EU, it is the patient’ responsibility to determine whether the local customs system allows in medication. Specialist Pharmacy is not liable for medication that goes missing during delivery to a non-EU country.
Specialist Pharmacy does not offer refunds on medication, in line with the General Pharmaceutical Council guidance. Once a medication has been dispensed, it cannot be reused and must be disposed of.
Should the patient find the medication objectionable in any way, this must be discussed with the prescribing doctor in the first instance.
In those circumstances where the Specialist Pharmacy has dispensed a medication in error, i.e. the medication is not what the doctor prescribed, a full refund will be given if the Specialist Pharmacy is notified of the error within three weeks of dispensing the medication.
The Specialist Pharmacy provides all prescribing doctors with details of the ingredients in its products, highlighting potential allergens. The Specialist Pharmacy is able to alter its usual ingredients to cater for specific allergies, if requested by a doctor, in advance of compounding.
For most preparations, a private prescription will be valid for six months from the time of writing. Where the prescription contains DHEA and testosterone (controlled drugs schedule 2, 3 and 4), a private prescription is only valid for 28 days from the time of writing. These validity timescales relate to the time a patient has in which to order the medication. Specialist Pharmacy cannot take orders for a prescription that is no longer valid.
If the prescription contains a number of repeats, where the patient can order further quantities of the same prescribed medication up to a limit set by their doctor, the repeat items can be taken for up to 12 months from the time of writing should the first order have been made within the initial validity timescale (6 months or 28 days).
Once a prescription is no longer valid, the patient must revert to their prescriber for further prescriptions. Please note that new prescriptions invalidate any previous prescriptions that exist, even when there are repeat items remaining on the previous prescription.
All personal and confidential information held by the Specialist Pharmacy is protected in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Under the Data Protection Act patients are entitled to receive a copy of their medical records. Any applications should be made in writing and addressed to the Head of Pharmacy.
Specialist Pharmacy ensures that a Responsible Pharmacist is available at all times to supervise the production and dispensing of medication.
Our pharmacists conform to the requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council, which includes the provision of advice to prescribers and patients. A Specialist Pharmacy patient always has access to our pharmacists, who provide patient counselling and answer queries about the medication such as how to take it, possible side effects and the relevant ingredients. A pharmacist will advise on whether the patient should speak to their prescribing doctor.
All patients of the Specialist Pharmacy, are entitled to make an official complaint if they are not satisfied with the product or service that has been received. The time limit for initiating a complaint is within 6 months of the event or 6 months from the date in which the patient became aware of the cause for complaint, provided this is no more than 12 months after the event.
All complaints will be investigated thoroughly, fairly and quickly to resolve dissatisfaction with the service or product and where necessary, to improve the quality of the service or product provided.
Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to the Head of Pharmacy, Suite 5, QMB Innovation Centre, 42 New Road, E1 2AX. The patient will receive an acknowledgement within five working days of receipt of the complaint, unless a full reply can be sent within that time.
Our aim will be to let the patient have a full response within 20 working days, or where the investigation is still in progress, a letter explaining the reason for the delay. If the patient is not satisfied with the response from the Specialist Pharmacy, they have 28 days in which to appeal. If the Specialist Pharmacy does not hear from the patient within this time, it will deem the matter concluded and that the patient agrees with our decision.
Specialist Pharmacy is committed to providing high levels of service to all patients. At times, things may go wrong and whilst the Specialist Pharmacy understands that patients may become upset, it does not expect that team members should have to tolerate unacceptable behaviour, such as abusive, offensive or threatening interactions.
In such a circumstance, Specialist Pharmacy team members will remain professional and if the situation cannot easily be resolved, will ask either the Chief Pharmacist or the Head of Pharmacy to take over the conversation. Should the unacceptable behaviour continue, the Specialist Pharmacy reserves the right to terminate the call.