Prescriptions and medication

Online access to your prescriptions

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If you already have online access, you can
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How to obtain online access to your prescriptions

Online access to your medical record can allow you to book and change appointments, order prescriptions, review any test results and review your notes. This is easy to arrange, and we explain the benefits and how to do it under

Our automated digital assistant can help with online access to your prescriptions

Our chatbot is an easy way to access a range of help and guidance to get set up online and best utilise your online services.
Launch digital help:

Practice process for medication

Ordering repeat prescriptions

You can order repeat prescriptions in a number of ways:

  • Online: This is a quick and simple way of ordering your medication. There is information on how you can do this under Online Access To Your Records or if you are already registered you can log in above.
  • Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) allows your GP to send a series of repeat prescriptions to your pharmacy in one go, so there’s no need for you to order them each time. So, for example, instead of you putting in a request for a repeat prescriptions every 2 months for the next year, this is done in one go and you just have to collect the medication every two months direct from your pharmacy. Information on the electronic repeat dispensing process in our practice is covered below with more general information on eRD found under Prescription and Medicine Management.
  • In person: You can drop in your prescription into our post box or directly to reception. Please mark clearly what items you want.
  • By post: You can post your request to us. Please mark clearly what items you want.

Prescription requests and collection

We are not able to take prescription requests over the telephone and we require three working days to process your prescriptions. Please can you help us and try to avoid your medicines running out. We have more information on how to avoid urgent prescription requests under urgent requests. We cannot process your request while you wait in reception.

Over the counter medication and other help from your pharmacist

For all patients: Doctors and nurses across the NHS have been asked not to prescribe medicines which are available over the counter directly from a pharmacist without a prescription. We explain what are the common over the counter medications your chemist can help you with and other support they offer, see under

Further information

Other relevant information can be found below.

Collecting medication from your local pharmacist

If you get regular prescriptions, the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) may be able to save you time by avoiding unnecessary trips to your GP. EPS makes it possible for your prescriptions to be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice.

Choosing a pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor to process your EPS prescription is called nomination. This means you’ll no longer collect a paper repeat prescription from your GP practice. Instead, you can go straight to the nominated pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor to pick up your medicines or medical appliances.

Because your pharmacist has already received your electronic prescription, they may be able to prepare your items in advance, so you just have to pick it up with no extra wait, but this depends on the capacity of pharmacists on the day and may not be possible all the time.

Further information

For more information:

Reduced ordering of repeat medication

You might be suitable for eRD if you get regular or repeat medicines that don’t change.

eRD means your GP can send a batch of your repeatable prescriptions for up to 12 months (maximum of 2 months supply for any one prescription) electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. You can then collect your medication from your pharmacy, or ask them to deliver it to your home. This means you won’t have to re-order or collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP practice every time you need more medicine.  All batches of the electronic prescription are stored secured on the NHS spine and automatically downloads to your nominated pharmacy at intervals set by the GP.

When your pharmacy supplies your last electronic repeat prescription, they will inform you. You will then have to contact your GP practice to ask for another set of electronic repeat prescriptions. You may need to be seen for a review before another batch of electronic repeat dispensing prescription is authorised.

Further information

Further information can be found under

How do I sign up for eRD?

It’s really easy to sign up for eRD – just ask your GP or pharmacist for more information.

Aligning your repeat medication

If your medication is out of sync and you are having to order your medication at different times of the month, please complete the attached form and we will amend your medication so that they run in line with each other.

Download and complete the form:

Reducing cost

There is detailed information on how everyone can be supported with the costs of medication including those on low incomes, see under

This includes

  • Who can get free prescriptions
  • Prepayment certificates
  • Help with costs helpline

It also worth considering the frequently asked question on “Making the management of your medication more efficient?” so no medication is wasted.

Medication reviews

The practice aims to ensure that patients with ongoing medical problems who are on repeat medication are reviewed annually at least. If the date for your next review with a doctor or nurse has passed you will be asked to make an appointment. Please contact the surgery to avoid unnecessary delays to further prescriptions.

Drug monitoring

If you are on a drug which requires regular monitoring with bloods tests (such as DMARDs), please can you take full responsibility and arrange bloods when they are required in accordance with your shared care protocol schedule which has been agreed between you and your hospital doctor. This both ensures the safety of these drugs but also avoids delays in issuing further prescriptions.

Changes to Ordering of Repeat Prescriptions

NHS Buckinghamshire Medicines Management Team has a responsibility for ensuring we all get the best value for money. With current financial pressures on the NHS, it’s important that they look to areas where we can reduce waste and held a stakeholder workshop locally to explore how we could do this.
One of the steps is to limit the automatic ordering of repeat medications by pharmacists and medical equipment suppliers, so that patients order their own medications themselves. 

We believe that patients and their carers are best placed to know exactly what and when repeat medication is needed.

What this means This means that from 1 August 2018, you will need to order repeat medications and equipment (e.g. catheter and stoma bags and accessories) from your GP practice directly, rather than from your pharmacy, or medical equipment supplier.

Please note this affects the ordering part of the process only, patients can continue to have their medication delivered to their home by their pharmacy where these arrangements exist.

How to order your repeat medication

Go online – Order your request online through Patient Access
At your GP practice – drop in your completed repeat prescription request slip (right hand side of prescription) to your practice. (We have a box on the counter where you can leave your request). Please ensure you order in advance as it may take up to 72 hours to process.

NHS Buckinghamshire Medicines Management Team  know that some people will continue to need pharmacy support with repeat medication ordering, so exceptions to the change are listed


  • Patients who are housebound who cannot order on line, or do not have a carer or representative that can order on their behalf
  • Patients using a Monitored Dosage System
  • Patients who have a learning disability who do not have a carer or representative who can order on their behalf
  • Patients who have dementia who do not have a carer or representative who can order on their behalf

What you need to do:
For your next repeat prescription please order your medicines using one of the methods outlined above (How to order your repeat medication).

Please make sure you get the repeat prescription request slip from your pharmacy each time your medicines are dispensed.

The repeat prescription request slip is the right hand, tear-off part of your prescription.

Try to re-order your prescriptions when there is around 10 days’ supply of medicines remaining. This will give enough time for the GP to process and issue the prescription.

Please only order the amount of medication you need.

When you collect your medication please check the order before you leave the pharmacy. Any medicines returned after you have left the pharmacy cannot be reused or recycled.

If you, a member of your family, or someone you care for needs help ordering their medications, please speak to either your local pharmacist or GP practice who will be able to offer you support.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support with this initiative which we believe will benefit the whole community.

Medical waste including a sharps bin

You can dispose of any medical waste including a sharps bin normally through your council, see under

Unused medication

Simple unused medication can be returned to your local pharmacy who will normally be happy to dispose of these for you.

GP practices do not have facilities to dispose of medical waste (including unused medication).

Support with your medication

Understand prescriptions and medication

There is detailed information on medication which covers a wide range of related areas, see under

Your local pharmacy

Many patients are now accessing their pharmacist first before attending their GP practice, so we recommend you review this potential support including with over-the-counter medication for many common conditions, see under

Quality care check list and local information

The medication checklist can help you better understand your medication including information on the local formulary and practice options. Though the checklist is not submitted to the practice you can use it to help support any consultation you have in the practice, including if you are considering starting some new medication.

Other checklists and an explanation of checklists can be found on the page

Frequently asked questions

Below we cover some common questions GP practices get asked about prescriptions and medication.

Find a local pharmacy

Enter your postcode to find a local pharmacist (including services open at weekends and during the evening)

Your local pharmacist

Build a relationship with your local pharmacist and understand how they can support you

  • Pharmacists are a great source of information and provide support not just on your medication but on both long-term conditions (e.g., asthma) and also many common presentations. The full range of support is covered under Pharmacy.
  • Pharmacist can advise you when you should see a doctor or whether they can help.

Nominate a regular chemist for your medication to go to

  • Allows you to collect your medication from one source.

Allow your pharmacist time between you ordering medication and you collecting medication from the chemist

  • The practice has to process your prescription order and transfer the request to the pharmacist.
  • The pharmacist has to ensure the medication is available and on occasions order it in.
  • Allow 5 working days from ordering your medication, though your pharmacist may be quicker than this.
  • Alternatively consider Electronic Repeat Dispensing of your medication (explained in the section above) which can be more efficient.

Many patients value their relationship with their local pharmacist as much as that with their practice.

Emergency supply

Problems often occur out of hours and the NHS website explains what you can do

From the NHS

The NHS explains how you can find an open pharmacist but alternatively you can also use the map found under “Contact Us” and then search under “Nearby” using the phrase “Chemist open near me”. Directions to each chemist are provided with a contact number which is worth phoning to check they are available.

Efficient management

There are number of simple steps which many patients find helpful. Some of these are covered in the sections above including

  • Online access to your medication
  • Electronic repeat dispensing (ERD)
  • Electronic prescribing service (EPS)
  • Medication synchronisation
  • Medication reviews

It is also worth considering if you need to order more medication, particularly medication which is not used regularly. It is easy to accidentally build up excess stocks of medication. Many patients have found having a single location where they keep all their medication can prevent this accidental excess storage of medication.

Reducing cost

There is detailed information on how everyone can be supported with the costs of medication including those on low incomes, see under

This includes

  • Who can get free prescriptions
  • Prepayment certificates
  • Help with costs helpline

It also worth considering the frequently asked question on “Making the management of your medication more efficient?” so no medication is wasted.

Hospital medication

There is information to help you manage your hospital medication

A brief explanation is provided below


  • If the medication is required immediately (urgently) the hospital doctor will complete a prescription to enable you to get the medication immediately.
  • If the medication is not urgent, then the hospital doctor will send a letter to both you and your GP detailing the medication (including the rationale for the medication). Note the letter can take up to 3-4 weeks for you and your GP to receive.
  • The hospital doctor in either case will fully explain the medication to you.

Inpatient, day case or A&E attendance
The hospital will prescribe 14 days medication (if required) after an inpatient stay and up to 7 days medication (if required) if you have attended A&E.

Choice of medication
A hospital doctor cannot prescribe any drug, they like GPs are guided by local agreed guidelines. This is covered in the link in detail including access to the local prescribing guideline.

Private care

For information on managing medication from a private provider see under

A brief explanation is provided below.

Short term

Once referred to a private consultant the whole episode of treatment should be provided by the private provider, meaning that NHS and Private care should not be mixed together, so that

For private outpatients it is completely the private providers responsibility to

  • Prescribe short term medication privately for any single episode of care (e.g., antibiotics)

For private inpatients, it is completely the private providers responsibility to

  • Provide medication privately for any short-term medication which is part of the package of care (e.g., for a hip replacement any immediate medication required as a result of the operation such as low molecular weight heparin, pain relief or antibiotics following the operation)

Long term

If a private consultation identifies a long-term condition or a need for long term medication which is available as a routine long- term NHS treatment this should be provided by the patient’s usual GP.


  • This medication should be prescribed in line with local guidelines
  • The GP must be in receipt of a letter from the private consultant explaining the rationale for the medication as part of the treatment of a long-term condition and the patient should have been briefed on the medication in full. A verbal request or private prescription will not suffice.

For more detail including information on local medication guidance see the link above.

Travelling abroad

We include our policy for repeat medication and other medication if you are travelling abroad, see under

General information

You can find general information on medication relating to travel under

  • Holiday and Travel Health – this also includes information on over the counter medication which your pharmacist can supply you for your holiday (including a first aid kit)

Sedating medication for flying

GP practices do not prescribe diazepam for fear of flying. The reasons for this are around safety and national guidance, see under

Understanding your medication

There is information to help you understand your medication, see under

This includes

  • Sources of information which can provide a reference on your medication (including around safety)
  • If relevant, information on drugs which require regular blood monitoring
  • If relevant, a link to common long-term conditions and how you can decide if the medication is allowing you to achieve your agreed targets

Letter requests

GP practices may charge for any private letter you ask for (explained under Non-nHS private services) however, in many cases a letter is unnecessary because

If you do need a letter plan ahead to arrange this as such a request will not be considered urgent.

Why is it worth tackling antibiotic resistance?

Tackling antibiotic resistance not only supports you but also future generations

Some simple questions

A few questions worth considering:

  • What is antibiotic resistance and why is it serious?
  • When do you really need antibiotics?
  • How can you be supported if you do not have antibiotics?

Some answers to these questions can be found under

Some simple steps to avoid medication waste

What is the cost?

NHS England give an estimate of around £300 million of medication is wasted every year

How can you help?

As Medicine Waste suggest “Wasted medicine is everyone’s responsibility and there are small changes you can make to help reduce the amount of medicine being wasted.”

Medicine Waste suggest some simple steps that can make a real difference

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