Ordering a Repeat Prescription

There are several ways of ordering a repeat prescription.  You may notice that you get all your repeat tablets on the same day even if you don’t need them all as we are streamlining the process of signing prescriptions.  This means you may have a surplus of some medications to begin with. The extra ones should be disposed of safely by yourself. Please do not take them to the chemist or the surgery for disposal. 

Planning Ahead

We politely ask that you plan to request more medication at least 48 hours (2 working days) before you run out. This is because we have over 100 prescriptions to check and sign every day in addition to clinics and other administrative work. Having ticked the boxes on their prescription request cards, many people drop the paper request into the surgery letter box when passing. If we have another community outbreak of Covid or other infectious illness, we will not accept paper requests.

The pharmacy also request that you allow several days before picking up your routine repeat medications (after the prescription has been sent to the pharmacy), so to be sure of getting your medications on time we ask you to plan at least a week before you will need them.

If you are going away, it is worth planning ahead and ordering your medications well before you are due to travel. You may take up to 2 months supply of medication with you when travelling. Some countries ban the importation of commonly used medications such as codeine, so check before travelling that you can legally import your prescribed medication.

Storing Medications Safely

All medications should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. We also ask that anyone with cognitive impairment is supervised when they take their medications or, if you are worried about a family member or friend, you can discuss with the surgery about having a dosette box, which is pre-packed each week by the pharmacy.

Safe Prescribing

One of the areas we frequently discuss with patients is how we manage the process of prescribing medication and the controls that we put in place to ensure that any ongoing prescribing is as safe as possible.  We hope the explanation below clarifies what can seem a complex area:

It is considered safe practice for GPs to periodically review repeat prescriptions. How often this needs to be done can vary from just once a year to every few days, depending on the medication, the condition it is prescribed for, and the stability of that condition.

When your GP issues your repeat prescriptions in a consultation, they provide them for a time period considered to be safe for your individual circumstances. We understand the end of this time period may not always be a convenient time to book a consultation, so are usually happy to extend the prescription by up to a month to allow time for the next review to be arranged.

Beyond this, we would strongly encourage a patient to see a GP to ensure safe and appropriate follow-up. If a patient remains unwilling to see a GP, we have to weigh the risks and benefits of continuing to issue the medication without such follow-up. In some cases, this may mean the prescriptions are shortened or stopped.

This may apply even when under the care of a specialist, as when prescriptions are signed by a GP, it is the GP’s responsibility to ensure appropriate assessment has taken place.

Your GP will be happy to discuss the appropriate frequency of medication review for you at your next consultation.

Blood Tests

Some medications require blood tests to ensure they are effective, as well as perhaps more importantly, to ensure they are not causing any damaging effects on your body. For example, commonly used drugs such as blood pressure medications can affect the kidneys. Diabetic patients will need at least 6 monthly blood tests to check on the trend of their blood sugar levels. 

You will be advised by your doctor if you need to have your blood checked and how often.