Langton Medical Group staff in Lichfield routinely switch off their ‘prescription enquiries’ line.
This means patients being blocked by a machine telling them to ring during opening hours – no matter at what time they call.
When they ring the next day they are blocked by the same message.
The problem is exacerbated by the practice failing to issue complete drug consignments to people on repeat prescriptions.
Many patients, especially the elderly, may find these twin service failures distressing.
Some may be reluctant to contact practice staff via other lines on Langton’s telephone system for fear of being seen as a nuisance.
And for some it can mean going without drugs their doctors say are important to their health.
There is nothing staff in local chemists can do to help since they can only dispense medicines as per Lichfield’s instructions.
A member of the Lichfield surgery staff, said: “I turn it (the prescription enquiries line) off when I am not at my desk.”
But one of her colleagues revealed that it was turned off even when the staff member was present.
Enquiries have shown that a number of patients have been encountering the same problems.
Langton Medical Group has broken assurances to explain its service failures. It has also failed to give any undertaking to resolve the problems.