Repeat Prescribing Policy
Repeat Prescriptions Requests
Requests may be made either by bringing or posting the prescription counterfoil to the surgery. Pharmacies may bring counterfoils and collect prescriptions on the patient's behalf. Counterfoils may be faxed to the surgery. Patients who wish to have prescriptions returned by post should include a stamped addressed envelope.
Telephone requests for repeat prescriptions are not in general accepted however exceptions may be made at the doctor's discretion. Where such an exception is made this is to be recorded as a pop-up note in the patient's computer record.
All prescriptions will be available for collection within 48 hours, or within 24 hours of the start of a working day if a script request is delivered at a weekend or bank holiday. Patients who require prescriptions returned by post should allow additional time.
In most instances prescription repeats will be issued for 28 days. There is evidence this avoids wastage. However the doctor may at his discretion authorise repeats for up to 56 days in certain circumstances.
In the case of contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, scripts will be issued for 6 months.
Patients 75+ and over will only be given repeat prescriptions in 1 month quantities.
Authorised repeat quantities
Repeat prescriptions will be authorised at the doctor's discretion for up to twelve months. When patients request their last script a note is to be attached to the prescription informing the patient that they have no more repeats left and should attend for a review. When signing scripts doctors should check the computer record to determine if a surgery attendance is required, in many instances a prescription/item review may be done by reference to the computer record and/or reference to the doctor who normally sees that particular patient. This policy may save unnecessary attendances.
When a patient requests a repeat but has no authorised repeats left additional supplies must be authorised by a GP and usually the patient will be expected to arrange for a medication review.
Items should be aligned, where possible, such that they expire on the same date. If quantities require amending to bring them into line, this may be attended to by the senior receptionist.
Over and under prescribing
Reception staff should indicate (to the doctors) instances where items are being requested ahead of schedule as this may indicate non compliance or abuse of medication.
Items that have not been requested should not be removed from the record without reference to a doctor.
Change of medication
Changes in prescription medication are the responsibility of the doctors and authorised nurse practitioner/prescribers. Amendments are only to be made at the direction of a doctor. Particular attention is to be paid to amendments to medication on hospital discharge, as this is an area where errors can occur.