When to obtain a repeat prescription
When you are nearing the end of your current supply of medication you will need to contact us, allowing plenty of time for the prescription to be generated, reviewed by a doctor and signed. We ask that you give us two working days (48 hours). This should be plenty of time but there are days when urgent patient problems take precedent. There are also some days when we have to deal with hundreds of requests e.g. Mondays, Fridays, days just prior to bank holidays, so avoiding these busy days is a good idea.
What if you run out of tablets etc?
Please try to plan ahead, particularly around holiday times. We understand that sometimes you might find yourself short of tablets unexpectedly. You can speak to the reception staff on the phone between 10.00am and 12.00noon and explain what has happened. The doctors signing the prescriptions will then try to sort yours out urgently. At other times you can come in and ask at reception. We may ask you to see a doctor or wait until a doctor is free to sign a prescription.
To be fair to our other patients who might then have to wait longer for their appointment etc we will take note of repeated requests for urgent prescriptions and remove the authorisation for them to be on repeat. In these cases you will have to make an appointment for a doctor or nurse each time you need a prescription.
What to request
If you are making your request over the phone then you must ask for each drug by name and dose. If not then errors may occur.
We normally use the generic or proper pharmacological name for drugs we prescribe as this is good medical practice and helps us to be cost-effective prescribers and reduces the risk of prescribing errors. There are a few drugs e.g. slow release formulations, some anti-epilepsy drugs, some inflammatory bowel disease drugs which need to be prescribed by brand. Please ask for drugs by the name that appears on the right hand side of your prescription.
If you are dropping off a request or writing to us then using the right hand side of an old prescription is the safest and clearest way to ask for your medication. You do not have to request all drugs on your list every month – some may last much longer than others e.g. sprays.
We will give you batches of prescriptions if you request them and if this is felt to be appropriate by the doctor or nurse. Normally these are three prescriptions each with one month’s supply of medication.
Collecting your prescription
Once the prescription has been signed the receptionist files it in a box at the desk and waits for you or your representative to pick it up.
There are alternative ways of collecting your prescription:
- In person at the reception desk
- A friend/relative/neighbour collects if for you
- You leave us stamped addressed envelopes and we post it to you or to a pharmacy of your choice
- A pharmacy of your choice collects the prescription for you – you arrange this with them. You then arrange with them whether they will deliver your medication to you if you are housebound or whether you or your representative collects it from them.
Once or twice a year your medication will be reviewed – a computer note will appear on the bottom of the right hand side of the prescription. The review will be done by one of the doctors when signing the prescription. They will look in your records to see that necessary checks or blood tests etc have been done. If the doctor thinks that you need to come in and see the practice nurse or a doctor they will then write a note to you on the right hand side of the prescription. It is important that you do respond to these notes. Repeat prescriptions will no longer be authorised if you don’t attend when asked to. It is not necessary for you to ring us or to come in and see a doctor or nurse unless you have had a hand-written note asking you to do so.
Our repeat prescribing system is not 100 per cent foolproof. It is not possible for it to be so. We are relying on human beings and computers! There are checks made which is one of the reasons for us needing plenty of time to produce your repeat prescriptions. Please always check your prescription yourself when you have collected it. It is always a good idea for you to know and understand exactly what you are taking.