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Medicines & Prescriptions

Prescriptions

Prescriptions are computer generated. Our software will help us to know about any potential conflicts and interactions.

  • You request your repeat prescriptions online using the Patient App. or another of the many available.
  • We send your prescriptions electronically by Electronic Repeat Prescriptions ('ePS' -see below) to your nominated pharmacy so you do not have to collect a prescription - just go straight to the pharmacy to collect your medicines
  • Tell us where to send them - you can change any time and do this online yourself on the Patient app. ('My account') or at the pharmacy.
Using paper prescriptions means takes a little longer, is less secure and as we are trying to get rid of paper in our operations we shall try to change you to ePS.

If you have trouble remembering to take your regular medicines you can ask the Pharmacist about Medication Dosing Aids such as multi-compartment 'dosette' boxes or sealed 'Nomad' dispensing trays that the Pharmacist can prepare individually. They will be automatically delivered every 2 weeks and have compartments labelled for each time you need to take medication, so it's easier to see what you have taken and what is due. It can be a bit of problem if you need changes made before the next try is delivered.

We can also set up Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) for some patients. We pre-authorise a number of months' worth and so the Pharmacist is able to give your medication on regularly without any further requests. This will not suit everyone and requires special consideration.

It is best to order your own medicines so that you receive what you need, when you need it and it is really easy, especially using the online App. Some patients leaving it to pharmacies to order for them have ended up with large stock-piles of medicines they did not need.

More about EPS
More about Repeat Dispensing

Electronic Prescription Service (ePS)

We send your prescriptions direct to your chosen pharmacy instead of printing them out, so the pharmacy can get them ready for you without having to take the prescription along. All you have to do is ask the doctor, the receptionist or at the pharmacy. You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time.

It makes it easier and quicker to obtain your repeat prescriptions - just request them on-line (or in writing) and then collect the medicines from the pharmacy after 48hr business hours.

It is still important to see you from time to time to make sure all of your monitoring checks are up to date, so please take note of the messages we send that the pharmacist will pass on to you.

Electronic prescriptions are now the norm and it won't be too long before we stop the wasteful printing of paper prescriptions. Paper prescriptions take longer to produce and can get lost. The NHS wastes considerable money printing the carefully coded prescription paper and the practice has to pay a lot for printer consumables. It is estimated that if all prescriptions were produced electronically, an average practice would save a seven foot pile of prescriptions each year (and as we are larger we should save maybe a 20 foot pile). Stopping paper prescriptions would also prevent a lot of prescription fraud each year.

Download the EPS Patient Leaflet
You can find information about EPS here

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

This can suit some patients on long term stable medication, especially those who can find it difficult to request medicines. If we are happy a patient its stable and unlikely to need changes in their medication in the foreseeable future, we send a batch of prescriptions electronically to the Pharmacist for up to a year ahead and they can dispense the medicines on a regular basis without any further requests. This can suit housebound patients who have their regular medicines delivered but many other people can benefit too, so if you would like to consider it, speak to the Doctor or Pharmacist. There are, however, potential complexities with operating the system, particularly if you need changes made.

Prescription Charges

You will need to pay the Pharmacist the Prescription Charge (currently £9) for each individual item (ie a pair of support stockings will be £18), unless you are exempt from charges.
A pre-payment certificate may be cheaper if you are likely to require more than 12 individual items over a 12 month period (it currently costs £104).

Many people do not have to pay prescription charges e.g. due to age, certain benefits, pregnancy, certain medical conditions, for medicines received at hospital or walk-in centres etc. For full information on prescription charges and all the different exemption categories (it's very complex!): NHS prescription charges

Repeat Prescriptions

Once you are stabilised on a medicine that you will need long term, we give a 2 month (56 day) supply at a time - except for certain potentially more dangerous drugs, or unless you are over 75yrs, when you will receive a one month (28 day) supply.

To re-order your repeat medicines, it is easiest and quickest online though your Patient Access App. (You need to sign up for this service, which also gives access to many other services).
Alternatively tick the items on the right hand side of your prescription computer slip provided by the Pharmacist and send it to us or hand in at reception. If you lose this slip, please ask at reception for a request form for your medicines.

Fax is being phased out of the NHS due to insecurities so we cannot accept faxed prescription requests.
Due to safety concerns we cannot accept telephone requests for repeat prescriptions.
If you would like us to send your paper prescriptions please provide a stamped addressed envelope (but best change to EPS).

Please wait at least 48 working hours for us to process your request.

If you have urgent need for a repeat prescription due to unforeseen circumstances, please let the receptionist know. We can always issue a short term supply to keep you going.

Many pharmacists offer an ordering and collection service for you, even sending you reminders. We prefer you remain in control of your ordering as often we have found patients receiving many items they did not want. Make sure you tell the Pharmacist if you don't need certain items - do not let them order automatically without checking what you need as it can lead to wastage.

Medication reviews are needed, usually every 6 or 12 months and we shall ask you to make an appointment with the doctor or nurse. There are certain important checks we need to perform to ensure your medicines are still doing their job and are not causing any problems and that your condition is monitored. When the computer indicates a review is due, please do not delay as the computer blocks any further issues once you are overdue. If you have been unable to come in time, please NEVER stop your medicines; let us know the circumstances and we shall issue a prescription to keep you going.

Ask us to help synchronise your medicines so you can request them all in one go.

Certain medicines such as the Contraceptive Pill or HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) can be supplied in 6 month quantities for your convenience but to do this the nurse or doctor may need to see you.

Non-repeat medicines, which you may have only occasionally, can be requested on a medication request form or E-Consult but we may ask to see you.

Hospital Outpatient prescriptions are commonly given as requests for the GP to prescribe. These are usually not urgent. Sometimes the prescription will be intended for dispensing at the hospital pharmacy, especially if the need is urgent or the drugs are for hospital supply only. Please check carefully.

Private prescriptions from another doctor should normally be cashed at a pharmacy. We are not obliged to convert these to NHS prescriptions though if we have referred you we may be able to at the doctor's discretion. The responsibility for starting a new medication sits with the doctor prescribing.
Once you are established on the medicines, we can provide repeat prescriptions on the NHS as normal, provided we have received written information from that doctor and that we judge the prescription is appropriate. Some prescriptions may be for medication which is not in our practice drug formulary and we may substitute it for something similar.

Many excellent and important medicines are available Over The Counter (OTC) at Pharmacies. They do not not need to be prescribed by a Doctor and indeed you can save yourself a lot of money as many are cheaper than the Prescription Charge. Pharmacists are highly trained in giving sensible advice about self-help for minor illness, please ask them or take a look here.

Taking your medication abroad may require you to take a letter of authorisation with you, even in Europe. Every country has its own rules and it can be complex and you could find yourself in trouble. Make sure you check in good time. Check here for further details. The maximum we can give is for 3 months.

Medication bought online can be dangerous. The NHS has some good advice on the taking care with online medicines

Medicines we can no longer prescribe

The NHS is under pressure. Our budgets are not large enough to pay for all the treatments we would like to purchase.
The NHS in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster spent over £13 million in 2016 on products that can be bought without a prescription at community pharmacies.
We would like to spend less on medicines you can buy without a prescription so as to free up funds for other valuable NHS services. 

So practices across North West London (and eventually across the whole NHS) will no longer routinely prescribe medicines which are available to buy over the counter in pharmacies and, in the case of some medicines, in supermarkets and other shops too.

Some people will be exempt:

  • Care home residents
  • Individuals with funded care packages where a carer is required to administer a medicine or product
  • Anyone officially declared homeless
  • People with a diagnosis of dementia
  • People with a diagnosed learning disability.  
For more details on this scheme click here
Here is a list of medicines we have to ask you to buy

Your Home Medicine Cabinet

It is important to keep a supply of commonly used medicines, bandages and creams for treatment of those everyday injuries, allergies, coughs and colds which are best managed at home and do not need the services of our surgery. The vast amount of online information from sites such as eConsult and NHS.UK helps you to manage minor illness and injuries yourself and save you having to access the NHS services.

Here is a very good list of items to keep handy at all times to make up your home drug cabinet and first aid box. Make sure you keep it locked and out of the reach of children!

Reducing medication waste

Around £300m each year is wasted in unused medication. This could provide masses of extra NHS care and so we need to take steps to plug this leakage of vital funds. Reducing waste is everyone's responsibility.

Remember:

  • Unused medicines, even if unopened, cannot be reused due to safety considerations.
  • Unused medicines are a hazard to others.
  • Do not dispose of unused medicines yourself- take them to the pharmacy.

What you can do:
  • Please let your GP or Pharmacist know if you’ve stopped taking any of your medicines.
  • Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering.
  • Discuss your medication with your GP or Pharmacist on a regular basis.
  • Take responsibility for ordering your own medicines - don't leave it to the pharmacy.
  • Think carefully before ticking all the boxes on your repeat prescription forms and only tick those you really need.
  • If you don’t need the medicine please don’t order it! If you need the medicine in the future you can still request it.
  • If you need to go into hospital, please remember to take all your medicines with you in a clearly marked bag.
  • Please also remember that your medicines are prescribed only for you; it’s not safe to share them with anyone else.

Always:
  • Return out of date medicines to your pharmacy or dispensary for safe disposal.
  • If your medicines change - return your old medicines to the pharmacy for safe disposal to avoid mixing them up with your new medicines.
  • Don't stockpile medication - it is a safety risk for children and others who might take them.
  • Store medicines in an appropriate place out of reach of children.
More on the Medication Waste Campaign

Medicines for children aged up to 5yr given at school

Medicines bought over the counter such as paracetamol (eg Calpol) can be given to the school to issue when needed. Despite what some schools say, these do not need a prescription from the doctor.

For those in nursery or infant school ages up to 5yr this is covered in the Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage.

Disclaimer This website is to inform our patients of our services and provide general educational material concerning health. Any information, opinions, data or images are provided in good faith for the interest and benefit of our patients and not for any commercial gain. We are not offering professional advice concerning the particulars of any individual's health and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information presented or the content and reliability of information on linked external sites and request that you make your own judgements and use the information at your own risk. We cannot always keep all the information up to date, though we try our best. If you have any concerns about any of the content on this site, broken links etc please contact us.

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