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Ordering repeat prescriptions

In Leicester City we are moving away from pharmacists ordering repeat prescriptions on behalf of patients. GP practices are beginning to ask patients to only order repeat prescriptions through their practice and not through high street or internet pharmacies or appliance contractors, as they might previously have done. This brings the City into line with the rest of Leicestershire and Rutland, where a similar change has previously been made.

Patients who already order repeat prescriptions directly through their GP practice will not be affected; pharmacies and appliance contractors will continue to collect or receive prescriptions, so once patients have placed their order they can simply collect their medication from the pharmacy, as before. Pharmacies may also continue to deliver prescriptions if they offer this service.

The only thing that is changing is that patients will have to order repeat prescriptions themselves. Support is available for any patients or carers who may find this difficult.

Why is this change being made?

Being in charge of your  own repeat prescriptions helps you to be more aware and knowledgeable about the medicines you are taking, which results in safer use of medicines. It also means that you only get the medicine you need at the time you need it, so that unused or old medicines are less likely to build up at home – this prevents waste and saves valuable NHS resources.

Estimates suggest that unused or partially used medication costs the NHS £300 million each year, a figure which could pay for over 11,000 more community nurses or nearly 20,000 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer.

How should I order repeat prescriptions?

There are two routes you can choose to order repeat prescriptions through your GP practice: online (via websites or the NHS app) or by filling in a paper form. Some GP practices also accept telephone requests for repeat prescriptions.

The online route, through the NHS GP Online service, is quick and easy to set up and enables you to book GP appointments and view some of your medical records, as well as manage your  prescriptions. Speak to staff at your GP practice, who will talk you through the process. Once set up to access GP services online, you can download the NHS app if you wish, so you can order repeat prescriptions from your mobile phone.

What about patients who will find it difficult to order their own repeat prescriptions?

At Leicester City CCG we know that some patients may find it difficult to order prescriptions themselves and we have advised practices to identify such patients before making the change, so that these individuals will still have the option to have their repeat prescriptions ordered for them. Any patients or carers who think they will find this change difficult should speak to their GP practice, and request that they should still be able to have repeat prescriptions ordered for them. Any exemptions will be subject to agreement by the patient’s GP practice.

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