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Repeat Prescriptions Information

medication7Every day, up to 300 repeat prescriptions are dealt with at the surgery. It is the aim at the practice to process the requests as quickly as possible, but certainly within 72 hrs of the request. On many occasions we can process requests much faster than this, but there are certain times of the year, namely Bank Holiday weekends, Christmas and Easter, when we do need the full 72 hrs. We often have to deal with 3 or 4 times the normal workload at these times of year.

The purpose of this page is to try to explain what happens in the surgery when you request a repeat prescription. This should help you to appreciate why we ask you to allow 72 hours for such a request.

What happens when I order a prescription?

Whenever you request a repeat of your medication, it is always best to use the tear-off slip attached to your prescription to indicate the items you require. If you have lost your slip, please use one of forms available at reception or write very clearly what you require on a sheet of paper.

1. Requesting repeat medication

There are a variety of ways that you can order a repeat prescription:

  • Posting your request to the surgery
  • Hand delivery of your request to the Reception Desk
  • Fax request to the surgery (01285 641408)
  • Leaving your repeat slip with your Pharmacist for delivery to the surgery (Not all pharmacies will offer this option, so please check with your pharmacist).
  • Using the online form.

2. Request received at the Surgery

  • The request is date-stamped at the details checked. In the case of hand-written requests, they are checked for legibility.
  • Using the computer, the Prescription Clerk can check the validity of the request and process a repeat prescription.
  • If the medication requested is a “new” drug being tried by your GP, or a medication prescribed by a hospital consultant, or a drug that you have not had for some time, your request is “queried”. This means that your request and your medical notes are passed to the GP concerned for authorisation before a prescription can be issued. This may cause a slight delay in the time taken to provide a prescription.
  • All simple requests (i.e. those that are not “queried”) are passed to the duty “Prescription GP” for signing.
  • The signed prescriptions are then passed to the Receptionists for sorting ready for collection.

3. Collection of prescriptions

Your prescription can be:

  • Posted directly to your home (please include and SAE with your request)
  • Collected by a pharmacy of your choice (please indicate this clearly on your prescription request).
  • Collected by you directly from the Reception Desk at the surgery.

You can see that the process is fairly complex and involves several members of staff. In general, however, the process runs very smoothly but there are a few points for patients to consider in order to assist us in making the process as efficient as possible.

  1. Please allow at least 48 hours for the processing of prescriptions,  if you are collecting them directly from a pharmacy please allow longer as they pick up at different times. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate medication and to order your repeats in good time.
  2. Prescriptions are signed daily by a duty GP. However, medical emergencies and clinical issues take priority and may cause some delay in the process.
  3. When making a request please try to use the computer generated repeat slip attached to your green prescription. This has all the information we require. If you cannot use this form please provide us with:-
    - Your name and address
    - The name of the drug(s) required
    - The strength of the drug(s) – eg 25 mg
    - The dose you take – eg one daily
    - How you would like to collect your prescription
    Please note that we do not accept prescription requests by telephone.
  4. Try to use the correct drug names and not a brand name when you order a prescription. For example ask for paracetamol, not Panadol. Also please do not ask for your “little blue pills” or “my stomach pills”; this sort of request may lead to errors and we therefore cannot accept them.
  5. Prescription requests are dealt with individually. Do not assume that as you have passed on your request we will automatically issue a repeat prescription for your wife/husband/mother/ father/sister/brother, etc. You may request a repeat for them on their behalf, or ask them to make their own request, but it must be a clearly separate request.
  6. Patients discharged from hospital are usually given a few days supply of their discharge medication. Please ensure that any letters that you are given are passed onto the surgery as quickly as possible. This enables us to put any changes/additions to your records onto the computer in time for your next repeat request. 
  7. Pharmacies collect prescriptions from us at different times/days. If you wish to use their service, it is your responsibility to check these times with the pharmacy concerned so that you get your medication on time. 
  8. Always check your prescription before leaving the pharmacy, as it is much easier to deal with any discrepancies at that time. The pharmacist can usually sort out problems immediately. It is much more difficult to sort problems out once you are back at home.
  9. The GPs are required to maintain a check on your repeat medication. You may have been told that you are to take this drug “for life” but you will need to be seen at appropriate intervals for review. Please comply with these requests – it is for your own good as your medication requirement may have changed. 
  10. Always remember that what is urgent for you may not necessarily be considered urgent by the GPs and Practice Staff. For example, in times of increased work pressures, priority will always be given for important heart medication, diabetic medication, etc. over requests for simple analgesics or prescription requests for “over-the-counter” medications. Requests for non-urgent treatments may be delayed if workload is too great. Careful planning on your part will prevent the need for any panic.

If you have any particular problems, complaints or concerns, please contact the Practice Manager, Mr Richard Marshall, who will be pleased to assist. All the staff at The Park Surgery aim to deliver the best service we can under the various constraints of an already overstretched and under-resourced NHS. We always appreciate your understanding and co-operation. Please help us to help you!

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