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Important information regarding prescription ordering

(effective from 1st January 2016)


Repeat prescribing accounts for a high percentage of the total medicines prescribed on the NHS.  It is recommended that GP practices have a robust repeat prescribing policy and that current policies are reviewed frequently in order to continue to meet the Gold Standards for prescribing.


Gold standards states that medication should be requested by the patient or carer, primarily by using the right hand tick slip or in other forms of written communication (i.e. via online ordering or via post).  It states that telephone ordering should only be used for housebound patients or emergencies.


As CQC regulated prescribers, we have the responsibility of reducing prescribing errors, medication waste and identifying poor patient compliance.  Telephone ordering makes this more difficult, as patients tend to request ‘all’ their medication, as they don’t have access to a written copy in front of them.  This reduces opportunities for prescription clerks to identify items patients may not be taking and increases instances where items that have been stopped may be ordered for the patient in error.  In addition to this, the vast majority of complaints we receive from patients about their medication is the length of time it takes to get through to a prescription clerk on the phone.


Taking the above into account, we have reviewed our whole prescribing process to see how we can make it a safer and more convenient process for our patients.  We have also consulted with other Practices who currently meet the Gold standard for prescribing to see how they have achieved this and the feedback they have received from their patients.  As we also value your opinions, we have also taken into account your past complaints and views before making any changes.

From 1st January 2016, the following changes will be in effect with regards to prescription ordering:


  • No Prescription desk.
  • No prescription telephone line,
  • 48 hour processing time.
  • Items not ordered in over 12 months will require a GP review appointment.


How will you benefit from these changes?


1. Your prescriptions will be processed more safely, effeciently and accurately.

2. Doctors will have minimal interruptions to their surgeries for prescription queries, resulting in clinics running more on time.

3. New treatments and medicines are constantly becoming available on the NHS - coming in for reviews for items not ordered in over 12 months ensures you are getting the most effective treatment available to you at the time.


How to order your repeat prescriptions?


You can order your repeat prescriptions in one of 4 ways: 



1. Via the online service – this is a very quick and easy way to order your medication.  To register for the Patient Access service, you will need to collect your login details from the surgery.  If you are already registered with this service, please click this link to the Patient Access Website to login and order your medication.

Patient Access also has a Mobile App available to download free on Android and IOS .



2. Using the printed request form on right hand side of your prescription – please tick the items you need on your printed request and place in the prescription box located in reception.


Please note: try and order your regular medications at the same time.  If your items are out of sync with each other, please bring this to our attention by writing this on your request and we will try to rectify this for you.


3. Using a prescription request form available in reception – you can collect one of these from reception or click below and print out a copy at home, fill in your details and place in the prescription box (also located in reception). Please <click here to download>(Link Will Be Added Shortly) the request form ready to drop into the surgery or alternatively you can post this to:

Prescriptions, Penwortham St Marys Medical Group, Cop Lane, Penwortham, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 0SR

Repeat Prescription Request Form

Please note: All details on the form must be filled in, to ensure your request is processed correctly and in time.  Missing information may result in your request being declined.


4. Via your chosen local pharmacy – all surrounding pharmacies have been informed of the changes to prescription ordering at the surgery.  Most pharmacies offer a prescription ordering and/or delivery service.  For more information, please contact your chosen pharmacy directly.


Please note

  • We require 48 hours to process your repeat prescription.  This will be from the time we receive your prescription request.  In view of this, you may need to allow extra time if you are sending your request in the post or if you are submitting your order through a pharmacy.  The collection time will remain after 2pm.
  • The prescription box in reception will be checked regularly at 8am, 11am, 2pm and finally at 5.30pm.
  • You may wish to consider signing up to the Electronic Prescription Service.  This involves choosing a pharmacy that you would like your electronic prescription to be sent to each time you order.  This will ensure that your prescription arrives promptly after our 48 hour processing time.  For more information about the EPS service, please speak to one of the receptionists or your pharmacy.
  • If you order your own medication but a pharmacy collects it, it will be your responsibility to let them know there is one ready to collect (unless you are already set up for the electronic prescription service).


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I have run out of my medication?

If you realise you have no medication left, you will need to ring the main line before 10am.  Your prescription will then only be ready to collect after 5pm the same day.  Any calls made after this time will not be ready until 12pm the following day.

2. What if I have a query with one of my medications?


There will be space on the paper request forms to write any queries.  There is also an option to type a message if you choose to use the online service.


3. My prescription is not at the pharmacy - who do I contact?


If you have allowed enough time for your prescription to be ready at your pharmacy and it is still not there, please telephone the main line and one of the receptionists can look into this for you.


4. I have attended a hospital outpatient appointment and they gave me a pink slip with my new medication to start immediately - what do I do?


You must collect this from the hospital pharmacy.  If the pharmacy is closed, please speak to someone at the hospital department where you were seen for advice or you will have to collect it from them another time.  Providing the written form is clear to read, you may give us a copy of this form so we can update your repeat medication list for next time you are due to order.


5. I have been to the Pharmacy and they do not have the item that I require in stock,- what do I do?


If the pharmacy is unable to order the item in for you the following day, they can print you a token or give your green prescription back to you so you can take this to another pharmacy.  If it is a worldwide manufacturing problem, please ask the Pharmacy to ring the surgery so we can arrange an alternative for later that day.



If you require any more information regarding these changes, please speak to one of the receptionists.

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