Changes to the way you order repeat prescriptions

Repeat prescriptions

Many Sunderland residents have a ‘repeat prescription’ meaning that they can regularly receive certain medication without having to see their doctor each time. Some people order these repeat prescriptions themselves. Others choose to use a pharmacy or dispensing company to order medicines on their behalf.

Depending on how you request your medicines, the way that it works for you may be about to change.

What is changing?

Pharmacies will not be able to order repeat prescriptions on your behalf of patients registered with practices in Sunderland.

Why make this change?

Under the old system, some patients built up a stock of unused medicines. For example:-

  • a nurse found 7,000 paracetamol tablets in patient’s house
  • a patient returned 12 unused salbutamol inhalers

Do you know that any unused medicines returned to your community pharmacy cannot be re-used – they have to be destroyed?

This change will improve medicines safety and reduce the large amount of wasted medications in Sunderland, estimated to cost the local NHS at least £2 million each year.

£2 million could pay for an extra 85 nurses, 286 hip replacements or 54,000 GP appointments for Sunderland patients.

Who does it affect?

The repeat prescription ordering scheme only affects patients who have their medication ordered for them by their pharmacy or a dispensing company.

It does not affect anyone who already orders their own repeat prescriptions directly from their practice.

How will I know if this affects me?

If the scheme will affect you, you will be/have been sent a letter and information from your practice, giving you full details of how the scheme works, when it will happen and what it means for you.

The scheme will be rolled out during spring 2018. The first phase of the scheme will take effect in the following practices from 7th March 2018:

  • Deerness Park Medical Group, Hendon
  • Dr’s Cloak, Choi and Milligan, Southwick
  • Dr R Obonna, Southwick
  • Village Surgery, Silksworth
  • The Broadway Medical Practice, Alderman Jack Cohen Health Centre
  • Springwell Medical Group, Alderman Jack Cohen Centre
  • Hylton Medical Group, Pallion Health Centre
  • Dr Stephenson and partners, Victoria Road Health Centre
  • Concord Medical Practice, Victoria Road Health Centre
  • Rickleton Medical Centre, Rickleton

The second phase of the scheme will take effect in the following practices from 11th April 2018:

  • New Silksworth Medical Practice
  • Park Lane Practice
  • Southlands Medical Group
  • South Hylton Surgery

Further practices will be joining the scheme in the coming months, please check this page for updates.

If you are affected by the new system for ordering repeat prescriptions you can choose to order your repeat prescriptions in a number of different ways:-

  • Online from your GP practice – if you are not already registered for patient online, speak to the practice.
  • Handing in the white, tear off part of your repeat prescription to the practice, identifying which medicines you require
  • Post in the white tear off slip as above with a stamp addressed envelope

Remember – Don’t tick every box on your repeat prescription if you don’t need every item. You will still be able to order these medicines in the future.

Special arrangements will be made for patients who are not able to order their repeat medications themselves.