JR Oxford Hospital pharmacy turns back on cash payments

A hospital pharmacy did an about-face on a recent policy of stopping accepting cash payments over patient objections.

Members of the Oxford African Caribbean Conversation (OACC) complained after a public notice was posted at the John Radcliffe Hospital pharmacy stating that pharmacists would only accept card and contactless payments during the Covid-19 crisis.

The sign, which was first seen in October, was worrying for a number of elderly and vulnerable people who depend on cash and struggle to pay with cards, the OACC secretary said. , Chaka Artwell.

Speaking of the “blatant financial discrimination,” Mr Artwell, who lives in Oxford, said: “The OACC contacted the JR Hospital in October to voice our concerns.

“Public notices denying patients the option to pay in cash are discriminatory and illegal.

“Cash remains the only legal form of exchange in England, while all other forms of exchange are accepted as a courtesy.”

After the OACC contacted the hospital in October, the notice was withdrawn.

It was revealed to be the act of a “well-meaning” member of the pharmacy team trying to minimize the risk of virus transmission between employees and customers.

A spokesperson for the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust commented on the controversy: “Following advice from NHS England and our Trust Infection Prevention and Control team, a series of measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of patients and patients. staff, with an emphasis on reducing contact where possible to minimize the risk of transmission.

“However, our risk assessments did not include the denial of cash payments at the pharmacy.

“A notice posted at the front desk of the JR Pharmacy saying that we could only accept card and contactless payments was put in place by a well-meaning member of the pharmacy team.

“This was not in accordance with the trust or the policies of the pharmacy department, and the notice was removed.”

They also confirmed that cash payments were received by pharmacies at all hospital sites.

The OUH spokesperson added: “It has been made clear to them that cash can still be accepted for payment.

“We apologize for the ill-advised but well-intentioned decision by one of our staff and regret any inconvenience caused to patients and their loved ones. ”

While the RJ cash debacle has been resolved, a recent study found that a third of UK consumers have been prevented from paying cash for a service since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Some 34% of people said they had not been allowed to pay cash at least once when trying to buy something since March 2020, according to Which ?.

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