Repeat Prescribing Policy

We have received a number of comments recently regarding the policy to prescribe only one months’ worth of medication.  According to the Department of Health ‘A 28 day prescribing interval is recognised by the NHS as making the best possible balance between patient convenience, good medical practice and minimal drug wastage’.

If you are prescribed a repeat medicine your doctor will be prescribing enough of each tablet to last, you for 28 days.  For example, if the dose requires you to take 2 tablets a day you will receive 56 tablets.  There are some drugs which are packaged in 3 monthly amounts and continue to be dispensed in these packs, for example, contraceptive pills and HRT.

The vast majority of patients collecting repeat prescriptions do not pay prescription charges.  However, if you do pay for your prescriptions and need more than 5 items in 4 months or 14 items in 12 months you can save money by buying a Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate.

Finally, to help you and your doctor:

  • Your prescription should last at least 28 days.
  • Be prepared to attend the surgery annually for medication reviews.  The doctor/nurse is making sure that the medication you are taking is still the best way to manage your medical condition.
  • Do not stockpile medicines at home, only order those items that you will need until your next prescription is obtained.
  • We ask for 72 hours to dispense repeat medication.

Hospital ‘expedite letters’

Millions of outpatient appointments and treatments have been delayed in NHS hospitals during the pandemic.  When patients contact the hospital, they are sometimes told to ask their GP for an ‘expedite letter’.  This is frustrating for you and for us, and we cannot guarantee that this will result in your appointment being brought forward.

Only the hospital can compare your needs with those of other patients on their waiting list and they will action your request accordingly.

If you want to inform a hospital of a change in your symptoms, you may use the templates below when contacting the hospital.  One is for patients waiting for a first appointment with a specialist, the second is for patients waiting for a follow-up appointment, treatment, or operation.  You should post your letter to either Outpatient Appointments (for first letter appointments) or your consultant’s secretary (for follow-up care).

Letter for a first appointment with a specialist:

Dear Consultant,

I am awaiting care from you for <write your original problem here>.  I have been referred by my GP at Escrick Surgery.

I await an appointment and /or treatment but report the following change in my condition since my referral was sent to you.

<Explain briefly what has changed since your referral>.

I request that you take the following action.

  • Review my hospital notes alongside the letter to determine whether my care might be expedited
  • Contact me directly to inform me of the outcome of that decision, and my likely wait for further care
  • File this letter and document your decision in my medical record

Letter for a follow-up appointment:

Dear Consultant,

I am receiving care from you for <write your original problem here>.

I await a follow-up appointment and /or treatment but report the following change in my condition since your last contact with me.

<Explain briefly what has changed since your last contact with the specialist>

I request that you take the following action:

  • Review my hospital notes alongside this letter to determine whether my care might be expedited
  • Contact me directly to inform me of the outcome of that decision, and my likely wait for further care
  • File this letter and document your decision in my medical record.

Contact Information:

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospital https://www.yorkhospitals.nhs.uk

Harrogate Hospital https://www.hdft.nhs.uk

Leeds Teaching Hospital https://www.leedsth.nhs.uk

Hull University Teaching Hospital https://www.hey.nhs.uk

Urgent Information About Repeat Prescription Ordering

As you may know, the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board is introducing changes to how repeat prescriptions are ordered. Pharmacies will be unable to automatically order prescriptions on behalf of patients and patients are being advised to order direct through the GP via various methods:

• Order online via the GP surgery website

• Download and order via the NHS App

• Tick the items you need on the white, tear-off slip and give to the surgery

• Post the repeat prescription to your GP practice

This change would significantly increase the amount of time our reception staff are on the phone taking repeat prescription requests. At present our reception staff spend approximately 30% of their time on the phone taking medication requests. Taking medication orders over the phone comes with the inherent risk of the wrong medication being requested due to drugs having similar names. This has happened recently within the practice with the error being corrected before the medication was prescribed.

Due to this change from the ICB, its implications on the practice and our focus on patient safety we have taken the decision to follow other practices nationwide and stop taking prescriptions requests over the telephone from September 2019. We hope by making this change it will free up our phones lines for patients contacting us for other queries and also allow our receptionists to process accurate repeat prescription requests more efficiently.

We understand that this might not be popular with some patients. We do hope that you will understand this change will allow us to continue to be a safe and efficient practice.

Please pick up a leaflet in the waiting room to find out more information why the local ICB are introducing this new approach to ordering repeat prescriptions.

 If you would like to register for on-line ordering, please fill in the form at the surgery and bring one form of identification. You will then be able to order your medication at any time of day or night.

We do understand that a number of patients will not be able to order their medication through one of the above methods. These patients may be those who have or are:

• Elderly housebound

• Palliative Care

• Mental Health Issues

• Learning Disabilities

• Hearing or visual disabilities

• No access to family or carers to support them

• No access to internet and have mobility issues in terms of attending the    GP practice to drop off repeat slip

If you feel that you or one of your relatives are one of these patients could you identify yourself to the surgery. The surgery and local pharmacies will also be identifying patients who may have additional needs.