This site is intended for health professionals only

Home / Mystery patient / Birmingham / Mystery Patient in Birmingham

Mystery Patient in Birmingham


19 Feb 2015

The Pharmacist’s mystery patient team goes to Birmingham.

The Pharmacist’s mystery patients – led by team principal Jon Harris – has been out and about in Birmingham to check up on the help and advice available at pharmacies across the city

Zenith Pharmacy v1



 

 

 



Zenith Pharmacy (TOP INDEPENDENT)

With immense pain in my right elbow, I headed to Zenith Pharmacy on Birchfield Road.

I was greeted by a member of staff and asked to speak to the pharmacist. Batul approached me and asked if she could help. I explained that I had woken up that morning and had noticed pain in my elbow, and that in the mirror, the right elbow looked inflamed compared to the left elbow.

Batul asked if she could have a look at it so I removed my coat and rolled up my sleeves. She asked if I had ever suffered from arthritis and I said that I had not. She asked what I do for a living and I explained that my job is in marketing, so I’m constantly writing and typing for work. She asked if I had this pain in any other joint and I said I did not.

Batul advised I may be suffering from temporary pain and that by taking an anti-inflammatory the inflammation may go down, along with the pain. She said I would have to go and see my G
not go.

She told me to take ibuprofen – 400mg, three times a day – and suggested that a heat rub may help, along with a support. She said that the pharmacy stocked supports starting from £1.

Summary: Batul was on fine form. She was able to ascertain my symptoms and was the only pharmacist in Birmingham to actually examine one of the mystery patient team. Great job.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 3/3

Integrated working: 2/2

Total Score: 10/10

 Xtreme Pharmacy

 

 

 

 

 

Xtreme Pharmacy

With pain across my right knee, I went to see the pharmacist at the Xtreme Pharmacy on Witton Road.

Inside the pharmacy, I was approached and asked to speak to the pharmacist. The member of staff asked me what the nature of my enquiry was and I explained my symptoms to him.

Sarfraiz asked me what the pain was like. I told him that I had woken up with a pain across the front of my right knee, which, as the day was getting longer, was getting more painful.

He asked if I knocked it and I said that I had not. He asked if was painful to stand on or to bend. I said standing was not a problem but it was painful to bend. Sarfraiz asked if I had tried any painkillers and I said that I had been taking paracetomal and ibuprofen.

He said the only thing I could consider would be a rub or a spray, but if it’s getting worse, he suggested I might consider one of the walk-in centres.

He suggested I go to the walk-in centre on Erdington High Street. He said I did not need to make an appointment and that a doctor or nurse would see me within 10-15 minutes.

The pharmacist said I could get some strong medication there, if necessary.

“I think that would be the best option,” Sarfraiz said. “There is also a walk-in centre at Summerfield, near City Hospital.”

Summary: Sarfraiz did a good job but lost two points for not examining my ailment.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 1/3

Knowledge: 3/3

Integrated working: 2/2

Total Score: 8/10

Hyatt Pharmacy v1

 

 

 

 

 

  

Hyatt Pharmacy

Experiencing ringing in my ears, I went to see what advice I could get from the Hyatt Pharmacy on Bristol Road.

Inside the pharmacy, I asked to speak to the pharmacist and a member of staff indicated that the pharmacist was on the telephone. While I waited, I noted that Omair was listed as the responsible pharmacist. After 20 seconds, Omair finished his call and asked if I needed any help. I said I had a constant ringing in my ear, which was affecting my work and sleep.

Omair asked if I was in any pain and I said it was more annoying than painful. He then questioned whether I was having any trouble with balance, dizziness or headaches and I said no to all three points. He asked how long it had been going on for, to which I replied that it had been going on for around a week, although this was the first day off I had had to get it sorted out. Omair continued by asking if I had any itchiness in my ear or discharge and whether only one ear was affected. I said it was my left ear, but that there no itchiness or discharge. He suggested I could have water in my ear or it could be a case of tinnitus. He explained the treatment for tinnitus is prescription-only and he said that I need to get checked out by a GP who would put “a torch kind of thing” down my ear to make sure everything is okay. Omair suggested I attend a local walk-in centre and he wrote the details of the centre – on Katie Road – on the back of a business card, explaining that it is open from 8am to 8pm.

Summary: Omair was very thorough with his questioning and that put me at ease.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 3/3

Integrated working: 1/2

Total Score: 9/10

Boots v2

 

 

 

 

 

  

Boots (top multiple)

Complaining of occasional short, sharp headaches, I presented myself at the Boots store on the second floor of the Bullring Shopping Centre.

Rahela, the dispensing assistant, greeted me and asked if I needed any help. I asked to speak to the pharmacist and after 54 seconds, Naila appeared at the counter.

I explained I had been getting what I described as really bad headaches over the past two or three days and that the pain comes over the top of my left eye. Naila asked if I normally had this type of headache and I said it was a new, shooting type pain that lasts 10 seconds or so at any one time. She asked if I had taken any medication and I said that neither paracetamol nor ibuprofen were touching the pain. She recommended I should head to the local walk-in centre, claiming there was no better medication that I could buy over-the-counter.

I explained I was not from the area so the pharmacist advised I needed to head to the walk-in centre at the larger Boots store, giving me directions on how to get there. She added that the store also had an optical department if it was thought my pain was linked to eye straining.

“Any kind of pain you are describing that hasn’t been even touched by the normal OTC mediation you need to get checked by the doctor,” Naila said. “You might need something stronger on prescription.”

Summary: Naila asked good questions and interpreted my answers accordingly.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 3/3

Integrated working: 1/2

Total Score: 9/10

Asif's Pharmacy v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asif’s Pharmacy

With the discovery of blood in my stool, I went to see if the Asif’s Pharmacy on Alum Rock Road could help me.

Inside the pharmacy, I was greeted by a member of staff and asked to see the pharmacist. I told Mubeen that I had noticed some blood in my stool over the past couple of days and that I had not changed my diet or eaten anything I was not used to. Mubeen asked if the blood was on the stool or the tissue and I said it was on the tissue. She asked if I had piles and I said I do not.

The pharmacist asked if I was having problems going to the toilet and I said I was not. Mubeen asked if the bleeding was heavy or light and I said I considered it to be light.

Mubeen said the best thing for me to do was to go to the doctor. I said I was on holiday in the area and she advised me that there is walk-in centre on Clodeshall Road and gave me directions to the facility. “It’s best to go there just to check they can rule out that it’s not anything serious,” Mubeen said.

Summary: The mention of local links resulted in Mubeen gaining the full two points on offer for integrated working.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 1/3

Integrated working: 2/2

Total Score: 8/10

Lloyds Pharmacy v1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lloyds Pharmacy

Four years after an emergency appendectomy, I was experiencing pain where the stitching was, so I headed to Lloyds Pharmacy, which is adjacent to the Enki Medical Practice on Terrace Road, to see what advice I could get.

Jaz greeted me and said the pharmacist would be with me shortly. After 34 seconds, Harjinder approached me and I explained that I had had an emergency appendectomy four years ago and that this was the first time I had experienced any kind of pain post operation. He asked if I was on any medication, which I was not, and he asked if I had a GP in the area. I explained that I was in the area on business and I would be back home within 24 hours.

Harjinder said it was not an emergency but that if the pain becomes “excruciating” I should call 999. He told me not to worry but suggested I book an appointment with my doctor to be seen in the coming days.

Summary: Harjinder was, in my opinion, not that keen to understand my complaint and he did not offer detail about services in the community.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 2/3

Knowledge: 3/3

Integrated working: 0/2

Total Score: 7/10

 

Pak Pharmacy v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pak Pharmacy

I had suffered from a bout of dizziness and wanted to see what the pharmacist thought at the Pak Pharmacy on Alum Rock Road.

Inside the pharmacy, a member of staff – who was taking some packaging out to the bin – greeted me. I asked if I could see the pharmacist and the member of staff said he was taking a telephone call. After 3 minutes and 53 seconds, Mohammed arrived. I told him that over the past couple days I had had some heavy moments of dizziness and I was concerned, as I had not experienced this before.

Mohammed asked me a number of quick-fire questions relating to me being asthmatic, diabetic and on any medication – to which I answered no to all. He asked whether I had any blackouts as a result of the dizziness and I said I had not. Mohammed asked if the dizziness was more prevalent when I was getting up from laying down and I said there was absolutely no pattern to it. He asked if I had had a cough or cold in the last three weeks and I said I had not. He asked if I had diarrhoea and I said I had not. “That rules out any infection,” Mohammed said. He advised me to go to a walk-in centre and added: “Just in case something’s in there that shouldn’t be in there.”

Summary: Mohammed was able ascertain a lot about me with his quick-fire questions. He did not elaborate fully on the local services on offer and his parting comment confused me, more than helped me.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 2/3

Integrated working: 0/2

Total Score: 7/10

Al-Shifa Pharmacy v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al-Shifa Pharmacy

Having broken my foot a few years ago, I was experiencing some discomfort, so went to see what advice I would get from the Al-Shifa Pharmacy on Lozells Road.

I asked to speak to the pharmacist and Irfan made himself available almost immediately. I explained that I had previously broken my right foot in three places and I wasn’t sure if the pain was serious or just caused by the changing weather conditions.

Irfan asked if I had knocked it and I said I had not. He said if the pain continues, I should go to my GP to find out whether I should be referred for a suspected hairline fracture.

He confirmed my suspicions that the changing weather could bring about some pain as although the bone would repair, to an extent, within six to eight weeks – the full extent of the repair could take years. Irfan said he did not want to give me any creams, as he was not sure how effective they would be on the foot. He advised me to take ibuprofen with, or after, food. And said if that was not sufficient in controlling the pain, I should take some paracetamol.

Summary: Despite his immediate attention, I expected slightly more from Irfan. While he signposted services available, I was not satisfied with the advice offered. He did not mention any local links.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 1/3

Integrated working: 1/2

Total Score: 7/10

Ladywood Pharmacy v1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladywood Pharmacy

I had woken up with pain on the little finger of my right hand, so headed to the Ladywood Pharmacy on King Edwards Road to see what advice was available.

Inside the pharmacy, I could see a man moving boxes behind the counter, yet it was 42 seconds before I was approached by a member of staff where I asked to speak to the pharmacist.

I told Wumi that my finger was feeling inflamed and was causing me some pain. I said it felt swollen but that I could feel sensation. She asked if I had knocked it, been bitten or stung and I said that I had not to the best of my knowledge. Wumi asked if I had taken any painkillers, to which I replied that I had taken paracetamol but no other medication.

The best thing she said she could do was to give me another anti-inflammatory – and she said that ibuprofen was a bit stronger than paracetamol and would bring down the swelling – I told her I already have ibuprofen at home. Wumi asked if I had the 200mg variant of a well-known ibuprofen brand and I said I did. She told me that I could take 400mg three times a day and “see what happens”.

She apologised that she could not offer the cause of the swelling. She said if the pain continues I should consider visiting my GP.

Summary: Wumi did not offer any referral information and I was not completely satisfied with the advice offered.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 2/3

Integrated working: 0/2

Total Score: 7/10

Anonymous Pharmacy

With a pain on my right shoulder, I headed to X Pharmacy on X Road. Inside, I asked to speak to the pharmacist and I told him that the pain started a couple of days ago and I don’t know what to do.

X asked what painkillers I was taking and I advised I had taken paracetomal and ibuprofen for two days and it had not worked.“It sounds like something’s putting pressure on one of your nerves,” he said. X suggested I try an ibuprofen gel three times a day.

Summary: Unfortunately, X did not show any desire to promote local services and I did not feel satisfied with the advice given.

Patient Experience: 2/2

Consultation: 3/3

Knowledge: 1/3

Integrated working: 0/2

Total Score: 6/10

Overall summary:

My team and I very much enjoyed our first outing. Despite a gloomy day weather-wise across Birmingham, we witnessed some great examples of patient/pharmacist interaction. It was encouraging on our first outing to meet some superb patient-focused pharmacists.

My team always goes into pharmacies with an open mind and while we are pleased to give positive comments and scores, we find it disappointing to be critical about a pharmacy. But we always give a honest judgement, based on the set criteria that The Pharmacist has asked us to adhere to.

It should also be noted that the findings in the mystery patient article are a snapshot on my team’s visits in Birmingham, on a set day. They are not a reflection of the care package, but on the experience that one of my team had in your pharmacy.

I’d like to congratulate the top three pharmacies that my team visited in Birmingham – well done to Batul, Naila and Omair from Zenith Pharmacy, Boots and Hyatt Pharmacy respectively. Well done to Batul for being the first pharmacist to score full marks – 10/10 – in a mystery patient review.

Until next time,

Jon Harris

 


Want news like this straight to your inbox?


Latest News