The way we order our repeat prescriptions for medicine in Buckinghamshire is changing. From August onwards NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which buys your health services, is asking those patients who are able to do so, to order their repeat prescriptions directly from their GP practice – either online or in person. This means that patients will be less likely to have unnecessary or out-of-date medicine in their homes, improving their own safety, and will also reduce costly medicine wastage.
People who may have problems doing this, for example those who are housebound who cannot order on line, or do not have a carer or representative that can order on their behalf, are exempt from this change; as are those using a Monitored Dosage System, patients who have a learning disability or those with dementia who do not have a carer or representative who can order on their behalf.
Dr Shona Lockie, Clinical Director for the Medicines Management team at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said “We believe that patients are actually best placed to know when they need more medication and that most will be happy to order directly from their GP, either using the online systems or by dropping off the completed returns slip to their practice. Whilst we understand that any change in routine takes time to become the norm, we know that many people are already using online services for their shopping or banking and they will like the convenience of ordering their repeat prescriptions online. We hope people will prefer to use this method, as it puts more control in the hands of patients – they can see full details of the medications they are using, whilst also being able to book appointments and view their medical record.
“So please help your local NHS by ordering only the medicines needed for the month ahead. It’s a good rule of thumb to put your order in when you are down to a ten-day supply – that way you are highly unlikely to run out before getting your next batch. We would like to thank all patients for their cooperation with this.
Provision has been made so that people unable to order from their GPs can continue to have their repeats ordered by their pharmacist; and pharmacists can dispense medicines in a genuine emergency for those who need it. All of this is detailed in the letter and leaflet on the specially set up web page www.buckinghamshireccg.nhs.uk/repeats and is being circulated at practices and pharmacies.
If you already order repeat prescriptions from your GP, these changes won’t affect you. Also, all prescriptions ordered will continue to be sent to your pharmacy of choice. Patients can still have medication delivered to their home by their pharmacy, where these arrangements already exist.
Repeat prescriptions can be ordered online from a link on your GP practice’s website – but you will have to register for GP online services and your practice will probably ask you to provide identification in person. It’s a good idea to check with them first what they will need to see. Once you are registered it’s easy to order your repeat prescriptions and you can also access more of your practice’s online services such as making appointments and viewing your medical record (where these services are available).
If you prefer to order in person, you can complete the request slip on the right hand side of your paper prescription and hand this in to your practice.
More information can be found at www.buckinghamshireccg.nhs.uk/repeats