Repeat prescription ordering scheme

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 have changed.

What has changed?

Pharmacies are no longer able to order repeat prescriptions on your behalf.

Why have we made 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 this 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.

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.

Give your views

If you would like to give feedback on these changes we would encourage you to complete a short online survey to gain your views and feedback.