The way patients order their repeat prescriptions is changing in Doncaster in the New Year. From 4 January patients will need to order repeat prescriptions directly from their GP practice and not through a pharmacy or other dispensing contractor.
The move is part of a plan by Doncaster CCG, GP practices and Doncaster pharmacies to make the system safer and more efficient for patients and to prevent medicines and products being wasted.
Alex Molyneux, Chief Pharmacist with the CCG’s Medicines Management Team said: “Under the current system some patients find they’re building up a stock of excess prescription items that have to be stored safely and used within a certain date. Sometimes, when prescriptions are ordered on a patient’s behalf, they can end up receiving items they no longer need, so they aren’t used, cannot be re-used and get wasted.
“NHS resources are precious and stretched and we’re hoping these changes will mean people are more easily able to only order what they need to help reduce the risks of excess medicine and product storage in homes, wasted items and save an estimated £1million locally each year. We will be able to then spend this money on improving local health and care services for Doncaster people.”
From January there will be a number of ways that patients, or people nominated on their behalf, can order repeat prescriptions.
- Online through a GP practice website - First register with your Practice for its online services. To do this, visit your practice with photo ID (passport or driving licence) and complete a short form. Ask a family member or carer if you need help or speak to staff at your practice, you will then be able to request the exact products you need each time
- Order through the new NHS App or an NHS approved Pharmacy App - Download the NHS App to your smartphone or tablet from iTunes App Store or Google Play. You then need to set up an NHS login using some forms of identification for security (eg. passport, driving licence, and possibly a video to help with face recognition) and follow the instructions.
- In person, at the practice - Keep the tear-off section which comes attached to your regular prescription. This can be used as an order form and has all your repeat prescription items listed. Then, when you are ready to place an order, only tick what you need, and you can drop it back to your GP practice. Some have a box outside the building for the order form to be posted.
This new system will help patients and GP practices to better check and monitor what is and is not used and help choose the right prescription items and quantities during reviews. It will also make the re-ordering of prescribed items simpler and give people a better understanding of their medicines and why they are taking them.
The changes won’t affect how patients choose to collect their prescription items or have them delivered. People will still be able to arrange for a high street or internet pharmacy to collect repeat prescriptions from GP practices and deliver it to their door (if offered, charges may apply). And if patients already order repeat prescriptions directly from their GP practice, this will not change, and so no action needs to be taken.
For especially vulnerable patients or those receiving food or dressing products, alternate ordering routes may be appropriate depending on need. Please speak with your pharmacy or GP practice.
You can pick up an information leaflet at your local pharmacy or GP practice or visit the website https://medicinesmanagement.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/guidelines/changes-to-repeat-prescription-ordering-systems/