Ordering repeat prescriptions
The easiest ways to order repeat prescriptions are:
- Via your local pharmacy (some pharmacies may deliver to your home free of charge if you are housebound)
- using Accurx
- using your NHS account (through the NHS website or in the NHS App)
- using the GP online system
These accounts show you all your repeat medicine and dosage and you can choose the ones you need.
We no longer encourage patients to make written requests directly to the surgery as there are a variety of suitable options for all patients detailed above, however, if you do need to do this please leave the request in the external post box on the wall close the cycle park.
We do not take repeat prescription requests over the phone or email.
Collecting your prescription
Give at least of 72 hours’ notice (3 full working days). Please allow extra time for weekends and bank holidays. We no longer offer the option to pick up a prescription from the surgery, all prescriptions will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice and you should collect from there
Collect your prescription from the pharmacy 3 to 5 working days after you have ordered it.
You will need to choose a pharmacy to collect your prescription from. We call this nominating a pharmacy.
You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time:
- on the app or website where you order repeat prescriptions
- at your GP practice
- at any pharmacy that accepts repeat prescriptions.
Questions about your prescription
If you have questions about your medicine, your local pharmacists can answer these. They can also answer questions on medicines you can buy without a prescription.
- We have a prescribing clerk normally available Monday to Friday mornings who can address medication queries should they arise.
- Please do not ring the surgery to check if your prescription is ready for collection, you should do this with your pharmacy.
The NHS website has information on how your medicine works, how and when to take it, possible side effects and answers to your common questions.
If you are on a repeat prescription we will need to review this with you at regular intervals to check that your medication is still working correctly. You will see a reminder on your prescription asking you to arrange a review, or you can request a medication review with one of our pharmacists.
Problems swallowing pills
Lots of people find it hard to swallow pills. There are things you can try to make it easier and a pharmacist can offer advice.
What to do with old medicines
Take it to the pharmacy you got it from or bring it in to the surgery. Do not put it in your household bin or flush it down the toilet.
As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer advice on minor illnesses such as:
- sore throats
- tummy trouble
- aches and pains
They can also advise on medicine that you can buy without a prescription.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
Most pharmacies have a private consultation. You can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Further prescribing information and guidance
Each year 25% of the population visit their GP for a respiratory tract infection (eg sinus, throat or chest infection). These are usually caused by viruses.
For patients who are otherwise healthy, antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections.
These infections will normally clear up by looking after yourself at home with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.
Ear infections typically last 4 days
89% of cases clear up on their own
A sore throat typically lasts 7 days
40% of cases clear up after 3 days and 90% after 7 days without antibiotics
Sinusitis typically lasts 17 days
80% clear up in 14 days without antibiotics
Cough/bronchitis typically lasts 21 days
Antibiotics reduce symptoms by only 1 day
Antibiotics only work for infections caused by bacteria.
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections should be avoided because they may not be effective next time you have a bacterial infection.
Community Pharmacy Emergency Supply Service
In an emergency, when the surgery is closed, a pharmacist can supply repeat medications without a prescription if the pharmacist deems that there is an immediate need for the medicine.
Generic named drugs
In accordance with NHS recommendations most prescriptions will have the generic name rather than the brand name. The effectiveness and safety of the generic preparation is identical to that of the brand name. If you are at all uncertain please check with us.
A generic drug or other product is one that does not have a trademark and that is known by a general name, rather than the manufacturer’s name.
If you are concerned about taking medication abroad you can visit your local community pharmacy who are well placed to provide the information that is needed, and can also advise on a wide range of travel-related health issues.
Hospital and Community Requests
Hospital prescriptions will not routinely be issued from the practice. The first issue of a hospital prescription must be made by the hospital. Ongoing prescriptions for items issued by the hospital will be assessed and provided by the GP where clinically appropriate. In exceptional circumstances where a prescription cannot be obtained from the hospital pharmacy, this will be assessed by a practice prescriber and may be prescribed where appropriate. Please note this does not guarantee that the medicine will be prescribed by the practice and you may be advised that you will need to return to the hospital pharmacy to get the medication you need. All prescription requests will be dealt with within three working days, so it will usually also be quicker to obtain a hospital prescription directly at the hospital pharmacy.
Information for patients requesting diazepam for a fear of flying
The Doctors have taken the decision not to prescribe diazepam in cases where the there is a fear of flying. There are a number of reasons for this that are set out below.
1) Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.
2) Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than 4 hours. 3) Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number of people experience the opposite effect and may become aggressive. Benzodiazepines can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.
4) According to the national prescribing guidelines that doctors follow (the British National Formulary, or BNF) benzodiazepines are not allowed to be prescribed in cases of phobia. Thus your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk by prescribing diazepam for fear of flying as it is going against these guidelines. Benzodiazepines are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.
5) Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
6) Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.
We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines. We have listed a number of these below.
Easy Jet – Tel 0203 8131644
Fearless Flyer EasyJet
British Airways – Tel 01252 793250
Flying with confidence
Virgin – Tel 01423 714900
Flying without fear
Medicines requested by Hospital Specialists
Specialists will often suggest particular medication at a hospital appointment and ask us to prescribe for you. To ensure your safety we do need to receive written information from the specialist before prescribing. Sometimes a medicine is suggested that is not in our local formulary. There is nearly always a close alternative, and specialists are told that we sometimes make suitable substitutions when you are referred. We will always let you know if this is the case.
Non-repeat items (acute requests)
Non-repeat prescriptions, known as ‘acute’ prescriptions are medicines that have been issued by the Doctor but not added to your repeat prescription records. This is normally a new medication issued for a trial period, and may require a review visit with your Doctor prior to the medication being added onto your repeat prescription records.
Some medications are recorded as acute as they require to be closely monitored by the Doctor. Examples include many anti-depressants, drugs of potential abuse or where the prescribing is subject to legal or clinical restrictions or special criteria. If this is the case with your medicine, you may not always be issued with a repeat prescription until you have consulted with your Doctor again.
Over the Counter Medicines
A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.
Prescribing over-the-counter medicines in nurseries and schools
GPs are often asked to prescribe over-the-counter medication to satisfy nurseries and schools. This is a misuse of GP time, and is not necessary.
A GP in the surgery can only provide a private prescription if the medication is not available on the NHS.
A private prescription is not written on an official NHS prescription and so is not paid for by the NHS. A prescription is a legal document for which the doctor, who has issued and signed it, is responsible. A doctor you see privately is unable to issue an NHS prescription.
The cost of a private prescription is met wholly by the patient and is dictated by the cost of the medicine plus the pharmacists charge for supplying it.
When on holiday in the UK or living temporary outside the Practice area
If you are staying outside the practice area for holidays, work etc. we are unable to send prescriptions by post/email/fax. You should register with a practice as a temporary resident and request the medication. The Practice will contact us to confirm what medication you are currently being prescribed. Alternatively depending on your location some pharmacies may be able to provide the medication for you.
Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP)
STOMP stands for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines. It is a national project involving many different organisations which are helping to stop the over use of these medicines. STOMP is about helping people to stay well and have a good quality of life.
Your Home Medicine Cupboard
It is well worth keeping a small stock of useful medicines at home in your (locked) first aid cupboard. For instance, pain killers (analgesics) such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or aspirin (children under 16 and people with asthma should not take aspirin), or Ibuprofen syrups for children, Mild laxatives, Anti-diarrhoeal medicines, Indigestion remedy (for example, antacids) Travel sickness tablets, and Sunscreen – SPF15 or higher Sunburn treatment (for example, calamine).
28 Day Prescribing Policy
The NHS recognises that a 28-day repeat prescribing interval makes the best possible balance between patient convenience, good medical practice and minimal drug wastage.
The British Medical Association notes that “Prescribing intervals should be in line with the medically appropriate needs of the patient, taking into account the need to safeguard NHS resources, patient convenience, and the dangers of excess drugs in the home.”
The benefits of 28-day prescribing include:
- Reducing the amount of medicine which is currently wasted when your doctor stops or changes your medicine.
- Reducing the potential for error when your medication is changed in the middle of supply.
- Increased safety as you will not have multiple containers of the same medicine meaning it is likely to reduce the number of mistakes made by, for example, elderly patients, and it will also reduce the risk of potential poisoning of young children.
- Many medicines are supplied in 28-day packs, allowing you to check that you have taken your medication each day. You will start and finish the container of each medicine on the same day of the week, meaning it will be easier for your doctor to review all of the repeat medicines you are taking and to see when you have not ordered your medicines.
- Financial losses due to medicines waste represent a direct loss to patient care. Since 28-day prescribing reduces medicines waste, this in turn has a positive impact on patient care.
Studies in the UK and abroad have shown significant savings and a reduction in waste with 28-day prescribing. NICE Guidelines support 28 day prescribing and recommend that medicines are prescribed for no more than 30 days (prescribing larger quantities puts the supply chain at risk).
The surgery will provide you with a prescription for an interval that is clinically appropriate for you, taking into account all sort of issues, such as how stable your condition is, how long we expect you to take the medicine for, any side-effects you may experience, whether or not your medicine may change in the future, and any monitoring required. For some patients on certain medicines at a stable dose (e.g. contraceptives & HRT), your doctor may decide it is appropriate to issue prescriptions for prescribing intervals longer than 28 days and for medicines that are taken “as required” or for creams and certain inhalers your medicines may only be available on the normal repeat basis when you will make the request in the usual way in writing.
The vast majority of patients collecting repeat prescriptions do not pay prescription charges; therefore there will be no difference to these patients in terms of cost due to 28-day prescribing. If you do have to pay prescription charges, then it may be beneficial for you to buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate especially if you are taking 3 or more medicines on a regular basis. More information is available on this website: www.services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/buy-prescription-prepayment-certificate.
A new Hormone Replacement Prepayment Certificate (HRT PPC) is also now available to purchase to help with prescription charges. More information is available via the following link: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-prescription-costs/nhs-hormone-replacement-therapy-prescription-prepayment-certificate-hrt-ppc.