Given Tesco's plans to incorporate a pharmacy in all their superstores across the UK, as well as providing smaller pharmacies in the smaller outlets, consumers now have more freedom to access pharmacy services out of traditional opening hours. Tesco is not responsible for the professional conduct or customer services of pharmacy outlets, but you do have access to a complaints procedure through the General Pharmaceutical Council and full protection under UK legislation as a consumer.
Tesco Pharmacy customer complaints
Speak to the pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy at your Tesco store. Explain your concerns and give the pharmacist the opportunity to put things right. If you are not satisfied with the outcome and wish to take your complaint further, ask for the name and contact details of the regional pharmacy manager.
Write a letter of complaint giving the date and details of the sale or service in question. The Complaint Expert website suggests that you attach copies of any receipts, keeping the originals for your own records. Suggest that you would like to have a reply within a reasonable time frame, such as 14 days, giving the regional manager time to investigate your concerns and provide a solution.
Contact the complaints manager at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) if, after receiving a reply from the regional pharmacy manager, you are not satisfied with the solution or reparation offered. As of August 2011 the contact details are as follows:
The General Pharmaceutical Council 129 Lambeth Rd London SE1 7BT 020 3365 3400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaint about a Tesco pharmacist
Note that the GPhC guidelines for making a complaint about a pharmacist's fitness to practise differ from those supplied for making a complaint about customer service. The GPhC website advises that such complaints might include prescription dosage or labelling errors, criminal behaviour or being on duty under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Contact the GPhC directly if you are a member of the public or if you are a health professional with concerns about a pharmacist's fitness to practise. The GPhC asks that you supply your full contact details, the pharmacist's professional registration number, if known, and his location.
Include full details of the reason for your complaint, including any adverse effects or risks a patient might have suffered, together with full details of the time, date, any conversations or correspondence and contact details for anyone who can corroborate your complaint. The address to write to is the same as that in Section 1, but the email and telephone numbers are as follows:
020 3365 3603 email@example.com
Your complaint is taken on by a GPhC inspector who investigates the complaint thoroughly in accordance with relevant UK legislation. The inspector's legal powers enable him to progress the complaint through legal channels and to collect supporting material such as witness statements and evidence. He works closely with the police and the judicial system.
If your health is affected by the actions of a pharmacist and you need medical treatment, keep records of the signs and symptoms and the treatment you receive.
Keep all communications polite and do not use abusive or threatening language. Should your complaint eventually lead to court proceedings, present yourself as a reasonable person who followed the required course of action to assert your rights as a customer. Do not jeopardise the outcome by using confrontational language or behaviour.