Home­less man shocked to find ad­dress given as ‘Bench by River Tay, Perth’

Hu­mil­i­a­tion af­ter GP surgery staff print ‘ad­dress’ on pre­scrip­tion

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - JAMIE BUCHAN jabuchan@the­courier.co.uk

A home­less man said he was left hu­mil­i­ated af­ter staff at a GP surgery printed the ad­dress on his pre­scrip­tion as “Bench by the River Tay, Perth”.

Scott Cum­mings, who has been sleep­ing rough for eight months af­ter the re­la­tion­ship with his fam­ily broke down, claims he was made a laugh­ing stock by an em­ployee at Perth’s Yel­low Prac­tice.

The 49-year-old, who is from For­far, has been camp­ing out in Perthshire and oc­ca­sion­ally works at lo­cal es­tates.

He vis­ited the prac­tice at the city’s Drumhar Health Cen­tre to speak to a doc­tor about his bron­chi­tis.

He said: “I never get ill but I had been hav­ing prob­lems for a while and thought I should get checked out.

“When I spoke to the re­cep­tion­ist, she asked for my ad­dress. I told her I was home­less and she just laughed in my face.

“She kept laugh­ing and ask­ing me for an ad­dress. There was a wait­ing room with more than a dozen peo­ple lis­ten­ing in, so I found this re­ally em­bar­rass­ing. She asked me three times.”

Mr Cum­mings gave the re­cep­tion­ist a “care of” ad­dress at Dunkeld. “She asked me where I slept the night be­fore, and I told her on a bench down by the river,” he said.

But his or­deal con­tin­ued when he picked up his pre­scrip­tion.

He said: “I couldn’t be­lieve when I looked at the la­bel and saw the words ‘Bench, by the River Tay, Perth’. It was to­tally hu­mil­i­at­ing. I’ve been told that they don’t have to in­clude an ad­dress on the la­bel, they can leave that part blank. But I felt they were just try­ing to make a fool of me.”

A spokes­woman for the prac­tice said: “We are sorry the pa­tient feels dis­ap­pointed in the ser­vice he re­ceived, but we can­not dis­cuss in­di­vid­ual pa­tients with a third party as we are bound by pa­tient con­fi­den­tial­ity.

“Should Mr Cum­mings wish to pur­sue his con­cerns fur­ther he should con­tact the prac­tice.”

We are sorry the pa­tient feels dis­ap­pointed in the ser­vice he re­ceived

Home­less man Scott Cum­mings feels hu­mil­i­ated.

The pre­scrip­tion is­sued.

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