Prescriptions Information

Your Repeat Prescriptions

If you need regular medication and your doctor does not need to see you every time, you will be issued with ‘repeat prescription’. When you collect a prescription you will see that it is perforated down the centre. The left-hand side is the actual prescription. The right-hand side (re-order slip) shows a list of medicines that you can request without booking an appointment to see a doctor. Please tear off this section (and keep it) before handing the prescription to the chemist for dispensing.

What is a repeat prescription?

This is prescribed medication that you need to take for a prolonged period of time. Our clinical team will decide how many repeat orders you make before being reviewed.

How do I know what is on my list of repeat medications?

There are three ways to do this:

  1. If you order ‘online’ via an app you can log into your account and view your repeat medications on screen. Recommended method if you have access to the internet.
  2. For patients who nominate a pharmacy of their choice we send your prescription to your chosen pharmacy and upon collection of your medication you will receive a print-out. We highly recommended this option
  3. If you collect your prescription from the Practice there is a ‘tear-off’ printed list for you to keep and use to re-order next time.

Non-urgent advice: Ordering Timescales

Please order 7 days in advance, the only exception is if you are going away.

We need 3 working days to process your request, this allows us deal with any queries that may arise.


How To Request A Repeat Prescription

There are two basic methods:

  1. Via our ‘Online Services’. Simply log into your personal account and select the items you require. We strongly recommend this method if you have access to the Internet.
  2. Using your printed list of repeat medication items, simply tick ( ) the items you need. Your printed list was given to you with your last prescription or when you collected your medication from the pharmacy. Please let us have your list by
    1. Post – St James Medical Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton, TA1 1JP. *
    2. Using our Repeat Prescription ‘drop-off’ boxes at both St James and Orchard Medical Centres.*

* Please nominate a pharmacy of your choice where we can send your prescription (quick and convenient).

Telephone 01823 285401: We prefer not to use this method for clinical governance reasons and due to the potential for medication errors. Our repeat prescription line is currently available from 10:30am to 12:30pm and from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. This line is very busy and opening times will be reduced further in the coming months.


Prescriptions For Newly Registered Patients

If you are newly registered we will need a printed list of your medication before we can prescribe repeat medication for you, your new doctor will review the list and add the medication to your new record; in some cases the doctor may wish to see you before issuing the medication and there may be some changes.


Requests For Emergency Prescriptions

We need 3 working days to process repeat prescription requests, there may be rare occasions when emergency prescriptions are required.

Please either telephone us (01823 285400) or present in person with details of your requirements.


Ordering your own repeat medication

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

It is easier and quicker to manage your repeat prescriptions via the NHS App or Patient Access. To find out more information please see our online services section.


Prescription process

Most prescriptions now go electronically to a nominated chemist, please indicate which chemist you are using to ensure it goes to the correct one.

Please allow a minimum of three full working days for prescriptions to be processed and remember to take weekends and bank holidays into account.

Unfortunately a small minority of patients are repeatedly running out (or just about to run out) of their medication. ‘Urgent’ requests of this nature cause a great deal of disruption to the smooth running of the practice. Please be aware that such requests will be questioned very carefully by the reception staff and may well be refused by the GP. A record is kept of such requests.

If the surgery is closed and you have run out of medication but urgently need to get more the please read this information about Out-of-hours medicine


Additional Information

Why do we highly recommend ordering prescriptions using ‘Online Access’?

  • If you have access to the Internet it is quick, secure and convenient.
  • You can place your order 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Your request links straight into your personal medical record; is accurate and there is no potential for transcribing errors.
  • It allows our prescribing team to process your request more quickly and improves our ability to process your request within 3 working days, if not sooner.
  • It gives us more flexibility about when we process your request which helps with availability of staff at peak times to handle appointment calls etc.
  • If you have also nominated a ‘destination’ pharmacy from where you collect your medication, your request can be authorised by the doctor electronically and be available to the pharmacy to dispense almost immediately. This part of the process is known as the Electronic Prescribing System EPS).

What is the Electronic Prescribing System (EPS) and how does it help?

  • EPS simply allows your Doctor to check and authorise your request on the screen electronically and then send your prescription safely and securely to pharmacy of your choice.
  • It saves us time, paper and printing costs.
  • It reduces the chance of prescriptions being mislaid within the practice.
  • The Doctors can access electronic prescriptions from wherever they are e.g. consulting rooms etc.
  • Once the doctor has sent your prescription it should be available straight away to the pharmacy. The pharmacy has to access the EPS system and retrieve your prescription in readiness to dispense your mediation.
  • Some pharmacies can access your prescription within seconds of it being sent by the Doctor. Others pharmacies may need up to 30 minutes.
  • We have no control over processing times once the Doctor has released your prescription as this is a commercial operating / customer care issue for the pharmacy.
  • You can change your nominated pharmacy whenever you like.

If you forget to request a repeat prescription

If you forget to obtain a prescription for repeat medication and thus run out of important medicines, you may be able to get help from your Pharmacy. Under the Urgent Provision of Repeat Medication Service, Pharmacists may be able to supply you with a further cycle of a previously repeated medicine, without having to get a prescription from your GP.

If you have run out of important medication, telephone your usual Pharmacy to check that they offer this service; if they don’t, they may either direct you to another Pharmacy who does provide it, or ask you to phone 111 where you can request details of a local Pharmacy that provides the service.

You must then take with you to the relevant Pharmacy, proof of both your identification and of your medication (for example, your repeat prescription list or the empty box which should have your details printed on it). Please note that controlled drugs and antibiotics are not provided through this service, you will need to ring 111 for these.

If you receive stoma products from your Pharmacy or other supplier and/or receive items such as continence products, please ensure you have sufficient supplies as you may encounter difficulties in obtaining these over Bank Holidays, or when the Surgery is closed.

Help with NHS Costs

If you need help with NHS costs or need to find out if you can get free prescriptions please click here for further information.

Hospital and Community Requests

When you are discharged from Hospital you should normally receive seven days supply of medication.

On receipt of your discharge medication, which will be issued to you by the Hospital, please contact the Surgery to provide them with this information before your supply of medication has run out.

Hospital requests for change of medication will be checked by a prescribing clinician first, and if necessary a prescribing clinician will provide you with a prescription on request.

Medication reviews

Patients on repeat medication will be asked to speak to a Pharmacist, Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse at least once a year to review these regular medications and notification should appear on your repeat slip. This may involve changes to your tablets and is in accordance with current Health Authority policies. Please be reassured that this will not affect your treatment. We may sometimes call you in for a medication review and this may involve blood tests. It is very important that you attend these appointments, as it keeps you safe whilst taking medication.

Acute Requests (non-repeat items)

Non-repeat prescriptions, known as ‘acute’ prescriptions are medicines that have been issued by the Doctor but not added to your repeat prescription records. This is normally a new medication issued for a trial period, and may require a review visit with your Doctor prior to the medication being added onto your repeat prescription records.

Some medications are recorded as acute as they require to be closely monitored by the Doctor. Examples include many anti-depressants, drugs of potential abuse or where the prescribing is subject to legal or clinical restrictions or special criteria. If this is the case with your medicine, you may not always be issued with a repeat prescription until you have consulted with your Doctor again.

Over the Counter Medicines

A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions. For further information from the NHS about OTC medicines please click here.


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