Changes to repeat prescriptions - how to order

What is changing?

From the 1 September 2019 the way that you order your medicines is changing. Patients, or a nominated person, will need to order a repeat prescription directly from their GP practice.

What is not changing?

You can collect your prescription from the same pharmacy.

If you already order repeat prescriptions directly from your GP surgery this change will not affect you.

If you receive your medication in a monitored dosage system, for example a dosette box or a blister pack, this change will not affect you.

Why is the re-ordering of prescriptions changing?

The main reason is to increase safety and efficiency.   Many patients have said that they have built up a stock of unused medicines. These medicines are often not stored safely, nor are they used by their expiry date. The changes will address these safety concerns and will give patients more control.

The change will also mean your GP practice will have a clearer picture of the medicines you do and do not use and this will help with discussions during your medication review.

NHS resources are precious and the changes will help to reduce medicines waste. In the Vale of York area alone, it is estimated that medicines waste costs around £2 million each year. Savings made because of the changes will be reinvested in to local health and care services.

How do I order a repeat prescription?

There are different ways that you can request a repeat prescription:

  • Order online via your GP surgery website
  • Download and order via the NHS App
  • Tick the items you need on the white, tear-off section of your prescription and give to your surgery
  • Post the repeat prescription to your GP practice

Additional support from GP practice and pharmacy staff will be provided to those patients who find it difficult to order medicines in these ways.

The CCG recognises there are patients who may struggle due to physical health issues, logistical issues and there are exemptions for such patients. Discuss this further with your local pharmacy or GP practice.

When do I order my medicines?

Make sure you have a 7-10 day supply of your medicines left before ordering, and only order the medicine that is needed. Surgeries need two to three working days to issue a repeat prescription. After this a further three days is needed for the pharmacy to process a prescription.

What happens if I need help to re-order my medicine?

If you are unable to order your own medicines then a relative or carer can do this on your behalf. If this is not possible, the staff at your surgery or pharmacy will be able to help you.

What are online repeat prescription services?

Ordering online is a safe, quick way to order repeat prescriptions. To order online you will need to register, which may require you to show identification and proof of address. Speak to your GP practice to find out more. You can order via the NHS App on your smartphone or tablet. You can also book appointments and access other healthcare services through the App.

Can I get any other help from my local pharmacy?

Your local pharmacy offers a wide range of services and can answer any queries you may have, such as:

  • how to take your medicine
  • the possible side effects of your medicine
  • providing information about a medicine you have just started. This is also known as a New Medicines Service (NMS)
  • providing a full review of your medicines. This is called a Medicine Use Review (MUR)
  • the safe disposal of unwanted medicines

Links to

Patient information leaflet

Patient information leaflet – Easy read

Patient information poster