From 1 February 2018 pharmacies, online pharmacies and suppliers of medical appliances will no-longer be able to order repeat prescriptions on your behalf.
You will need to order your repeat prescription directly from your GP surgery every time.
Prescription medication can be ordered from your GP by:
- your GP’s online ordering service (if available through your practice), either by computer or a smartphone application
- by handing in the white, tear-off part of your repeat prescription to your surgery
- by letter
For more information you can speak to your GP practice staff or pharmacist.
Why is this happening?
As part of our ‘It’s our NHS and we’re not going to waste it’ engagement, we asked people to think about the way repeat prescriptions are currently provided and whether they support our idea to encourage most people to order their own repeat prescriptions directly from their doctor’s surgery by using the online ordering system or dropping a repeat prescription request in at the doctor’s surgery.
77% of people agreed with this and they also said that we needed to look at how to reduce waste in medicines.
Following this engagement, NHS Calderdale CCG has taken the decision to recommend to our member practices that they no longer accept orders from third parties after 1 April2018.
By doing this we hope to:
- Reduce medicines wastage from orders that are not required by patients.
- Reduce spend on prescribing of unwanted medicines.
- Reduce the potential for stockpiling medicines and the associated risks.
- Reduce GP practice and community pharmacy workload in the longer term.
- Empower patients to be in control of their own medicines.
- Promote effective repeat prescribing systems including use of online ordering, Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and repeat dispensing systems including Electronic Repeat Dispensing (ERD).
We will start roll out of the changes on 1 February 2018 enabling both practices and community pharmacies and appliance contractors’ time to notify patients and put in place new protocols ahead of 1 April.
Frequently asked questions
From the 1 February 2018 we are asking patients to manage their repeat prescription orders directly through their GP practice.
This will support us in reducing the number items that are ordered when no-longer required.
Often patients find that they begin to build up a stock of unused medicines, which cannot be returned to pharmacies to be reused even if they are unopened.
Self-managing repeat prescriptions will encourage patients to take responsibility for their own healthcare for as long as they are able to.
Patients should order their repeat prescriptions when they have 7-10 days of medication left, by:
- using GP online services or downloading the ‘SystmOnline’ or ‘Patient Access’ (depending which clinical system your practice uses) app onto your mobile phone or tablet device
- handing in the tear-off part of their repeat prescription to your GP surgery
- writing a letter to your GP surgery
No, the only aspect that will be changing is how your repeat prescriptions are ordered.
Pharmacies that collect prescriptions from GP practices will still do so and those who deliver medication to your door if required will continue to do so.
You will need to contact your GP practice in the first instance; they will provide you with details of how to set up online services.
You will also be able to book GP appointments online.
If you provide consent to your GP practice, family members, carers and care home managers will be able to request access to online services on your behalf.
This will enable you to nominate someone to assist with the online ordering process if required. For more information about this please speak to your GP practice.
Parents can be given proxy access to their child’s online record which would allow them to order repeat prescriptions online.
Ask your GP practice for further information.
GP practices usually take two working days to generate a prescription. Once a repeat request has been made by a patient/pharmacy, this will still apply.
However, ordering online provides more flexibility and enables patients to order medication outside GP opening hours.
If you have run out of your medication and your GP practice is closed, you should contact your usual community pharmacist who may be able to assist you or contact 111.
There is a free text box when ordering online in which you can request an item that is not on your repeat list.
This does not necessarily mean your GP will be able to issue this item. It will be decided on a case-by-case basis by your GP.
We recognise that some patients may still require assistance with ordering their repeat prescriptions, for example, due to age, mental illness or capacity.
In these circumstances, and with the agreement of the GP practice, the pharmacy or appliance contractor may carry on ordering on the patient’s behalf.
If a family member, or carer, knows someone who they think needs help ordering prescriptions they should speak to the GP practice or pharmacy as soon as possible.
Patients should speak to their GP practice if they have any concerns or complaints about the new system and the procedures that the practice has put in place for repeat prescription ordering.
If you wish to raise a formal complaint specifically about the decision to change the process, contact the CCG via https://www.calderdaleccg.nhs.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints/