Delays in Prescription Supplies - Seeking Advice


Hi. Is there anyone in the UK having or have experienced problems with their pharmacy with regard to their prescriptions? I live in Scotland where all prescriptions are free. I live in a small town where there are only 2 pharmacies to choose from. The problems started when my usual independent pharmacy sold out to Lloyds. Now delays in receiving my supplies are very frequent. It is coming up for 3 weeks since I handed in my prescription and still I have not received my pouches. This is making me angry and frustrated and embarrassed. What do I do if I run out? Will I have to go to A&E, which is over 20 miles away, to beg for some spares? It is hard to complain in a busy shop environment, especially when things are of a sensitive and confidential nature. I have been told my supplies come up from Warrington. I was not aware it takes 3 weeks to drive from Northern England up to Scotland! Seriously, can anyone offer any advice or guidance? I have complained in an email to Lloyds. As yet they have not responded. I thought about complaining to my health practice - but decided this has nothing to do with them. Whether the reasons are financial or simply bad management/staffing issues, I am getting desperate for answers. I have thought about changing to the other chemist in my town, but I believe they are just as inconsistent with their service. Has anyone out there had this problem and if so, how was it rectified? Thank you.


Hello Alba.

There was a post on here not so long back (I cannot find it now!) where a few of us were having problems with getting prescriptions on time. It seemed that there was a change in the way the orders were placed and they needed the prescription before the process of ordering could start. Before this the orders would come very quickly, then they said it would take about three weeks. However, I ran out of stuff on a couple of occasions and they sent me some samples to tide me over until my order came.I believe that most people that have discussed this did not use a pharmacy but used either Charter Health Care or Fittleworth for their supplies. This way they are sent directly to you by post.  I have used both these companies and would recommend either of them. Personally I use Charter now but that was simply because I used to use them before I had an ostomy and they were always efficient and helpful.  Perhaps if you spoke to these companies and ask them if their service would be better than your local pharmacy you might find a solution to your present problem.  

It is perhaps worth nothing that I also use Lloyds (chemist) for other prescriptions and I have found that they are not always reliable so it isn't just ostomy supplies. It seems they don't even order stuff until they get the prescription and then it's often wrong when it's delivered.  I almost always have to go back to Lloyds on a second occasion to pick up what they didn't have first time.  That's very annoying and I live close to them - it must be a right pain if they are a long way away from you.

It may not be the same in Scotland as here in the UK but Lloyds do a service where they collect your prescription from the GP and deliver the goods to your home.  This might be an option you could look into.

I do hope it sorts itself out soon as it can be very worrying when you are just about to run out of supplies and even more worrying when there are none there to use at all.

I have made my own gadgets to see me through such problem times but as these are definitely 'Heath-Robinson' affairs and are specific to my own circumstances they may not be suitable for other people.

Best wishes


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Hello Alba. 

I have just placed an order with Charter Healthcare (UK) and I asked if they deliver in Scotland  _They said that they do and their Scotland number is : 08009 178639.  They also informed me that they will cut bags to size if you want them to (which is something that the chemists apparently won't do.) The lady suggested that if you ring them - just say that a fellow ostomate recommended them and they will see what they can do to help.

I have found them very helpful - they contact the surgery for the prescription and as soon as they have it they process the order and send it by post/courier.  I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes



Hello Alba.   Thanks for updating on your situation.  I ommitted saying that one of the reasons I use Charter Healthcare is that they are part of the coloplast group and therefore have much quicker access to almost anything to do with stomas. When I've been short of supplies they haven't hestitated in filling the void with samples - which helps enormously with the anxiety at those times.  The other thing that I have started to do in the past few months is order long before I need another order. This means that I have now got lots of spare stuff and I am no longer lilkely to run out for several weeks.  Why not just phone them and ask for some samples to see how long it takes for them to come. If it's satifactory then you could think about ordering your supplies from them.

Best wishes



Hello Alba,

What a dreadful predicament to find yourself in. Who needs confrontation? My suggestion is to ditch the chemist and go straight to the manufacturer.

Most firms offer a home delivery service. Have a look around the web. I use Pelican mainly because I like their products. I have used Fittleworths too.

Simply ring or email your order. They will get the prescription from your doctor and then deliver the goods. They do ask for a ten-day lead time, but I find orders usually arrive within a week. I had an occasion when "accidents" meant I used ten bags in three days and it was a bank holiday weekend. Pelican organized an emergency next-day delivery. Phew, was I grateful.

It's bad enough having to cope with a stoma. The added stress of doubtful supplies just makes it into a trauma any of us can do without.

There are umpteen alternatives to choose from.



Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Past Member

That's disgusting of the pharmacist not letting you know they're having problems getting your pouches, even with home delivery companies they can run short at times but always let you know and offer an alternative until yours are in stock (most makes of pouches not made in the UK are usually shipped over here so can get stuck out at sea for one reason or another. I have my pouches from a small independent chemist; they have 5 branches. They keep a box in stock & cut to my size for me so I can have them as soon as they get my prescription. Before that, they used to have them within 48hrs of receiving the prescription. They have a member of staff trained in ostomies; she visits all the branches and sees the customers who have ostomies once a year to review our products and make sure we're happy with the service. I have her phone number in case I have any problems.


Ring Fittleworths used them for nearly 8 years with no problems.

It could be your GPS fault?

Past Member

I use Amcare and they are brilliant. I hope you have solved the problem now.


This is a general message to everyone who responded to my query late 2015: Hi guys. Thank you ALL so much for the above comments. I am sorry, I have only just realized they were there, in the notifications section. I would have responded sooner on an individual basis at the time, so I apologize.

It would appear the problem lay with Lloyds Chemist and them alone. Exasperated with my situation, I got my prescription back and took it to Boots, explaining my desperate need for supplies. A member of staff took my prescription, along with my mobile phone number and the very next day she texted me to tell me my prescription had been delivered!

I have been using Boots now for approximately 5 - 6 months without any problems. I receive a text message, usually within 5 working days to tell me to come down and collect my prescription. I have been told that many of Lloyds customers have now switched to Boots as the prescription service from them is diabolical.

However, I remain on guard and have taken heed of all your useful comments above, should I find myself in this situation again. Bill, I did receive your advice about Charter Healthcare in an email and this was going to be my immediate Plan B, if Boots failed to deliver. Thank you.

Once again, sincere thanks to you all. I consider myself fairly computer savvy, but for some reason this website trounces me from time to time and I tend to miss things. Ignoring everyone was NOT intentional.

Best wishes to you all.


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