Ordering Your Repeat Medication
In line with NHS England and CCG advice on good practice and reducing waste across the NHS, we provide our patients with 28 days rather than 56 days repeat medication.
You can request a repeat prescription in a number of ways:
- By using the NHS App
- Via our Online services
- Through your local pharmacy. Visit the Prescriptions and Medicines Centre to find the nearest pharmacy
- By post
- In person by leaving a note / the tear-off slip from your last prescription, and ticking the required medication.
If you are not registered to use this service, please complete our Register for Online Services form.
Prescription requests will not be taken over the telephone for your own safety and due to the risks of mistakes and serious errors caused by misunderstanding and misinterpretations.
Please note that it can take up to three working days to process a request for a repeat prescription. As such, we allow patients to request repeat prescription items up to seven days earlier to avoid running out of medicines.
To request a prescription that is not on your repeat list, known as an acute prescription, please complete the General Medication Question form.
Acute prescription requests take longer to process, as they require a clinician (GP, Clinical Pharmacist, Independent Prescribing Nurse etc.) to make a decision if a further supply is appropriate. Therefore, please bear this in mind when requesting acute prescriptions.
Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)
If you or someone you care for uses the same medicines regularly, you may be able to benefit from electronic repeat dispensing. This means you won’t have to re-order or collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP practice every time you need more medicine.
You simply collect your regular medication from your usual pharmacy each month without actually having to order it.
When your pharmacy supplies your last eRD, they will inform you, as it is likely that your annual review will be due. You will then have to contact your GP practice to have your annual review before another set of eRD prescriptions can be authorised.
For more information, see the eRepeat Dispensing leaflet. If you would like to be set up with eRD, please contact the surgery so that we may review if you would benefit from this service.
Medication supplies for Holidays
If you are a permanent UK resident, the NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to a maximum of three months. Any person whose absence from the UK is longer than three months will have to arrange to have their medication prescribed by a practitioner in the country they are visiting.
Prescription Charges & Exemptions
The current prescription charge is £9.35 per item although some items are always free, such as contraception.
Find out if you are entitled to free prescriptions. If not then you could save money with a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) or, if you have a low income, you may qualify for help through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
We would like to inform patients who are going into hospital that they need to take with them an up to date list of all their medication. You can use the tear-off slip from your last prescription or please ask at reception using our online form and they will be happy to provide this for you.
If you have been seen by a hospital specialist and they have recommended a course of treatment, this will not be issued until we have received a letter from the hospital specialist. If you are able to provide us with a copy of the letter, we may be able to issue the medicine sooner than waiting for the clinic letter.
If the specialist decides that you need to start taking a medication immediately, they will provide you with a prescription at your appointment. Please take to the hospitals’ Pharmacy to dispense as a community pharmacy cannot dispense a hospital prescription.
Medication and/or Annual reviews
As part of our continuing care to our patients, we aim that all patients prescribed repeat medication are reviewed at least annually. This is to ensure that the medication is still effective and appropriate for the condition for which it is being prescribed. You can find the review date for your repeat prescriptions on the repeat slip. Please note that you may also be monitored at a hospital or other institution, but we are also required to review you if we prescribe you any medication.
Why is it important to have an annual review?
Getting your medication (www.nhs.uk – How your pharmacy can help) reviewed is not only important for you, but also allows the NHS to maintain a good level of service across the board. It is an opportunity to ensure that you are taking your medication correctly, as government statistics show that 50% of prescribed medicines are not taken as prescribed. Most importantly, the review means you can ask any questions you may have about your medicines.
It is important to remember that even if you have been on the same medication for some time, changes can still take place which can reduce its effectiveness. For instance, you may have another medicine prescribed to you, in which case you need to be sure that both medicines are working well for you when used together. You may start taking new supplements, develop other conditions, require antibiotics, or start noticing possible side-effects.
By keeping your medication regularly updated and reviewed, you can be sure that your medications are working as they should. In some cases, it may be that you no longer need to take medication, or it could be necessary to reduce or increase the amount you are taking.
The annual review may include a blood test, blood pressure check etc. depending on the medicines prescribed and any other medical conditions you may have. For some patients, like diabetics, this may be more than once a year.
Not attending your annual review may affect our ability to prescribe or issue your repeat medication as we have a duty of care, which includes to ‘do no harm’.
If you have been diagnosed with a long-term condition (LTC) such as Asthma, COPD, Hypertension, Diabetes, heart failure or any other kind of heart disease etc. a nurse will see you for your annual review, as before. You may then also be called in for a more structured and holistic medication review with one of the Clinical Practice Pharmacists.
For patients that have traditionally not had an official annual review, e.g. patients on thyroid medicines or anti-depressants please complete our Medication Review form when your repeat prescriptions review dates are due. You may need a blood test as well but to submit the Medication review form we will need an up-to-date height/weight, heart rate and blood pressure. If you do not have access to a blood pressure machine, a reading can be done in the waiting rooms at the Healthy Living Centre or School Lane Surgery. Alternatively, some pharmacies are able to provide this service for a small fee. Please include these in your medication the review form submission.
NHS Self Care Guideline
In the year up to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines that could otherwise have bene purchased over the counter (OTC) from a pharmacy and/or other outlets such as petrol stations or supermarkets, often at a lower cost than that which would have been incurred by the NHS.
Did you know that it costs the NHS around £35 to prescribe a box of 32 paracetamol tablets, including dispensing and GP consultation fees? They cost less than £1 in pharmacies and supermarkets.
These prescriptions include items for a minor condition:
- That is considered self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal or be cured of its own accord;
- Which lends itself to self-care, i.e. that the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical advice but may decide to seek help from a local pharmacy for symptom relief and use an over the counter (OTC) medicine. Or items:
- For which there is limited evidence of clinical effectiveness.
By reducing spend on treating minor conditions that are self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care, these resources can be used for other higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients, support improvements in services and help deliver the long-term sustainability of the NHS.
For more information on what we have been asked not to prescribe, see www.nhs.uk – Why can’t I get a prescription for an over-the-counter medicine?.