Some of our patients who have long term conditions are managed with medication and require a prescription on a regular basis. These medications are issued on either a REPEAT PRESCRIPTION or REPEAT DISPENSING.
What is a repeat prescription?
A repeat prescription is an instruction from a Clinician to say that you can be issued a prescription for a medication without having an appointment. A Clinician could be a doctor, pharmacist or nurse at your GP Surgery. The Clinician will decide many months you can have a repeat prescription for before you need an appointment or medication review; this is usually up to 12 month.
What is repeat dispensing?
A “repeat dispensing” or “batch” prescription allows a Clinician to authorise and issue up to 12 months of repeat prescriptions for you. Repeat dispensing is only suitable for patients who are stable on their regular medication and their medication is unlikely to change before their medication review. There are certain medications that are not suitable for repeat dispensing; these include controlled drugs and items that you only require occasionally.
The Clinician will decide how many months you can have a repeat dispensing batch for before you need an appointment or medication review. Once your repeat dispensing prescription has been issued it will be stored securely and electronically on the NHS Spine. It will automatically download at your nominated pharmacy on a monthly basis. All pharmacies have a different process for managing repeat dispensing prescription so we advise you let your pharmacy know you have a repeat dispensing prescription and they will inform you what you need to do each month. You will not have to order these medication from the surgery on a monthly basis.
For more information on repeat dispensing, please watch this video: https://youtu.be/zzaNeAaelAo
If you do not currently have a repeat dispensing prescription but would like to enquire about whether you are suitable for this, please contact the surgery.
How can I order my repeat prescription?
Requests for repeat prescriptions must be ordered by the patient themselves. Third party ordering from Pharmacies has now been stopped by the CCG except in exceptional circumstances which are considered on an individual patient basis.
A request for your repeat prescription much be provided in writing and this should include the name and the strength for each medication you would like to request. This can be done in one of the following ways:
Online ordering through Patient Access:
This is the safest and quickest way to order your medication as it is directly linked to your medical record and the items you have requested will be waiting for the GP to review. Therefore only items you have requested online will be issued and delays with your prescriptions will be avoided. Your online account will update once the GP has signed your prescription meaning you can be reassured that your prescription has been sent to the pharmacy or waiting for collection at the surgery.
If you do not have a patient access account and would like to be set up, please contact the surgery by phone or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for registration details. You will then be able to register to patient access. See below for more information.
Online ordering through the NHS App:
If you prefer to you can use the NHS App to order your medication. Please see here for more information:https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/
We do not accept prescription requests from any other third party apps, these include (not limited to):
My Way Digital Health
C Sharp Solutions
Patients Know Best
Digital Medical Supply UK LTD
Nurturey - the digital Redbook
Some of these apps are associated with a pharmacy; although we do not accept requests through their apps you can continue to receive your medication from them. We will send your prescription to your nominated pharmacy. This can be any pharmacy of your choice, including internet based pharmacies.
If you are ordering your prescriptions through these apps you will be notified by the surgery to change to either using Patient Access or the NHS App. Continuing to use the third party apps will result in significant delays in getting your medication.
Paper requests for repeat prescription:
You can put a ticked repeat side of your prescription or complete a prescription request form and put it in the surgery prescription post box. You must include all medication details, including name and strength of each medication requested. To avoid any errors we will not be able to process the request without the complete information.
How long will it take for my prescription to issued by the surgery?
We endeavor to process your repeat prescription request within 48 hours of receiving it. Please allow longer for weekends and bank holidays. This is the time it will take for the prescription request to be reviewed, signed and sent to your pharmacy, this does not take into account how long it takes the pharmacy to dispense your medication. This varies from pharmacy to pharmacy so please ensure you leave enough time for the pharmacy to have your medication ready. For prescribing safety reasons the practice policy is to issue prescriptions no more than 7 days early. Should you require your prescription early please make sure you speak to the surgery before putting in your request.
Non repeat (acute) prescriptions
These requests may take longer than 48 hours because they are not repeat medications so your GP will need to review the medication to ensure it is safe to be prescribed again. Usually non repeat prescriptions are not intended for long term or repeated use so your GP may ask you to make an appointment to discuss your medication request before they prescribe that particular medication again.
Following a hospital appointment your specialist may request your GP to prescribe a new medication for you. These prescriptions normally take between 48-72 hours to process; sometimes it may take longer if the hospital needs to be contacted to clarify any details. It has been agreed with the local hospitals that any patient that needs to be started on treatment within 5 days or less following an outpatient appointment will be prescribed 14 days supply of medication from the hospital. Otherwise the prescription request will be processed within 48-72 hours.
Common reasons for delayed prescriptions?
Whilst we endeavor to process your prescription request within 48 hours of receiving it on occasions there may be delays. We would not refuse or stop your medication without communicating with you. The main reasons for delays are:
- Ordering too early – If you have ordered more than 7 days before your medication is due, as per the practice policy this request will be declined and you will be informed that you have requested too early. This will result in you having to order your prescription again by which point you may be running out. To avoid this, order when you have 7 days or less left of your medication and if you need it sooner please contact the surgery.
- Overdue medication review – We would not refuse a prescription because you are overdue your medication review. Your request would have to be reviewed by the GP to determine whether it is safe for them to prescribe your medication and inform you if you require any monitoring. How long this takes varies between patients as some have more complex health problems than others. To avoid delays because of an overdue medication review, please ensure you arrange a review appointment as soon as you have been notified the surgery.
- Unclear medication requests – If you have not provided the full medication details – including the name and the strength of the medication we will not be able to process the request. We will need to contact you to confirm exactly what you are requesting. How long this takes can vary depending on how soon we are able to speak to you. We will always leave a message for you to contact us if we have not been able to speak to you.
- Non repeat prescription item requests – If a medication is not on your repeat prescription it may not have been intended for long term use. You GP may have prescribed you a short course of a medication to use as a one off or they wanted to review you before that item goes on to your repeat prescription. All non-repeat prescription items have to be reviewed by the GP to determine whether they are suitable for you to be issued another prescription. How long this takes will vary depending on the medication you have requested. To avoid delays for non-repeat medications please ensure you arrange a follow up with the GP if they asked you to arrange and when putting your request in provide as much information as possible about why you are requesting this item.
Travelling for up to 3 months:
- Your GP can prescribe sufficient medication for long term conditions to cover the period you are away for a maximum of 3 months.
- For medication that requires regular monitoring, for example methotrexate (not limited to), for safety reasons your GP may only be able to prescribe 1 month of this medication so you should discuss this with your GP prior to making travel arrangement where possible.
- Your GP can not prescribe “just in case” medications on the NHS, for example travel sickness tablets, diarrhoea treatment, antibiotics (unless exceptional circumstances). These items may be bought over the counter or on private prescription.
- If you are prescribed controlled drug medication you will require a letter from your GP confirming the medication details. Please request a “travelling with medication” letter request form from the reception at least 2 weeks before your intended travel date (unless exceptional circumstances). If you are unsure whether you are prescribed a controlled drug please contact the surgery.
- If you are an insulin dependent diabetic and are required to carry insulin, injecting pens and/or syringes, needles and blood monitoring equipment please request a “travelling with medication” letter request form from the reception at least 2 weeks before your intended travel date (unless exceptional circumstances).
Travelling for more than 3 months:
- Under the NHS General Medical Services Contract your GP will only be able to prescribe you sufficient medication to cover your journey and allow you to register with a local doctor at your destination if you are planning to be away from the UK for more than 3 months. This will usually be 1 months’ worth of medication.
- GP practices are not responsible for finding a doctor or ensuring medication supplies are available at the destination.
- Patients who return to the UK for the purpose of obtaining medication, or who use a local proxy (family, friend or pharmacy) to request prescriptions on their behalf will be refused supply.
You should carry your medication in your hand luggage, in its original packaging with your GP letter as necessary.
You are responsible for checking the rules and regulations about maximum quantities and the types of medication allowed to be taken into all countries you are visiting and travelling through. The individual embassies can be contacted for this information and details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk
Questions about your prescription
If you have questions about your medicine or your prescription please contact the surgery.
Your local pharmacists can also answer any questions about your prescription. They can answer questions on medicines you can buy without a prescription.
Find a pharmacy
Click here for the NHS Medicines A to Z
Find out more about prescription charges on nhs.uk.
As qualified healthcare professionals, they 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.
Find a pharmacy
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
Most pharmacies have a private room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff.