Repeat Prescriptions

As of the 1st October 2022 we will no longer accept prescriptions requests over the telephone unless in exceptional circumstances. You can still post/bring in your requests.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we in general practice have had to adapt the way we work due to changes brought on by the pandemic. This has resulted in mostly telephone led clinics and the majority of patient queries have been dealt with over the telephone. This has inevitably meant that our telephone lines are extremely busy and we are aware that getting through to the surgery can be difficult and time consuming.

We have audited all incoming telephone calls during the week 16th -22nd August and the results demonstrate that 584/1280 (45.6%) of all incoming telephone calls are prescription requests or queries. This is a significant amount of time that our reception team could be handling other queries from patients.

One way for us to free up the telephone lines and decrease waiting times is to revert to no longer accepting prescription requests over the telephone. We are aware that allowing telephone requests has helped patients greatly over the last couple of years during the pandemic, but it has also contributed to the congested lines.

We are advised by NHS England to encourage patients to order online where possible. The benefits of ordering online include:

• Increased patient satisfaction, order any time no restriction to practice opening hours or waiting in a queue
• Improved safety as there is less opportunities for error.
• Improved efficiency requests can be processed by our extended team if they are received digitally

The Practice is getting busier and busier with more people on repeat medication for ever increasing complex conditions. By receiving prescription requests digitally, we minimise the risk of a potential error causing a significant event.

Please note that this will not alter the time it takes to process a repeat prescription which is 2 working days. As most prescriptions are processed and sent electronically, we also ask that you contact your nominated Pharmacy, not the Practice, to check if your prescription is ready as our processing times have not changed.

We hope that by asking everyone to make this change it will free up our phone lines for our most complex patients who cannot use online service. We understand that this might not be popular with some patients, but we hope that you will understand that safety is of paramount importance.

Many of you have already made the transition, but for those of you who have not there are several options available for ordering your repeat prescription:
• Register for online services by bringing your ID, photo ID preferred, into the Practice and we will print your Online credentials for use with the MyGP App or Patient Access Once registered you can also order via the NHS app
• Using your repeat slip (right hand side of green prescription if you have printed prescriptions) tick the items you need to order and hand this slip into the practice or post it to us. There should ALWAYS be a copy from the Pharmacy when you collect, or have your medication delivered. If not, please ask the Pharmacy for this.
• Drop off the repeat slip in the dedicated post box by our reception desk in Whitegate Health Centre which is open 8am-8pm 7 days
• Some patients with suitable medication may be offered eRD (electronic repeat dispensing) whereby your nominated chemist will receive pre-authorised prescriptions that can be dispensed monthly without the need for ordering from the surgery.

Thank you for your understanding