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Order a Repeat Prescription

Patient Participation Group Observations and Q & A’s

Many of you who have attended Barton House on a Friday in May probably saw one of the PPG volunteers who had been observing and taking feedback from patient to inform the work of the PPG and also help the practice make improvements where required. Generally, patients were very satisfied with the Doctors and their ability to deal with their issue. Some frustrations remain with the dispensary which have contributed to the Question and Answer sheet that is available to help patients understand the process. Patients recognised that there were supply issues with lots of medication and this was a national problem. Please take a look below

Questions & Answers for our Dispensary – Thank you to our Patient Participation Group PPG

How do I know if patients sitting in the waiting room are in the dispensary queue?

This is one very thoughtful point that was put forward from the Patient Participation Group PPG, and something we had not considered. We had a discussion around whether a ticket machine might be a useful thing to install and looked to take this forward after the meeting. At a further dispensary meeting, we have opted to put this on hold, just for the time being, as we are introducing longer opening hours for the dispensary and it was hoped by doing this, it would reduce queues and therefore the need. After a short trial of the new opening hours, we will revise whether a ticket machine would be a useful addition to keep track of those waiting.

If only 3 of my 4 drugs are in stock/available to Barton House dispensary, can you split my prescription so I can source the medication from another pharmacy?

This would be difficult for the dispensary to do, as would require them to reprint and adjust already printed and half actioned scripts. Also, if we have ordered something, it is just a case for waiting for it to come in and then the full prescription can be issued. If Barton House is out of stock, due to the nationwide issues, it is likely that other pharmacies would be out of stock too. If it is known that a chemist has the missing item in stock (the patient has phoned around and found out), it is possible for the missing item to be printed and collected elsewhere. Of course, this does then result in loss of income to the dispensary if scripts are taken elsewhere.

Why when I come to the window does it take so long for you to hand me my prescription?

More recently we have been short staffed and so ‘behind the scenes’ there are less staff preparing scripts and doing the workload associated with running the dispensary. Sometimes it is straight forward to collect the prescription and hand it out, but there might be an item missing, or something from the fridge, or a controlled drug that needs signing for. Whilst obtaining this, there might be urgent enquires from a GP, or other member of staff that needs actioning, the phone ringing, etc. This is something we are also looking at, ensuring that reception will be trained up to help dispensary when they are short staffed, but bearing in mind reception have their own heavy workload. But using a more team integrated response, reducing the phone calls into dispensary, so they can focus on dispensing, extending the opening hours and setting up managed repeats.

Why can I sometimes not order any more medication? Or I find if I use another dispensing service are my medications not available?

Sometimes, when ordering online, you cannot order more medication, if the authorisations have run out. Essentially, for most medications, annual of more frequent reviews are required, in the form of bloods, or blood pressure.  When the patient has had their appropriate monitoring, we will authorise their medications for 6 or 12 months-depending on when their next review would be due. So, the inability to order, would prompt the dispenser to inform the GP that review is required and advise on the appropriate tests required. We had a discussion with the PPG recently about patients taking responsibility for their own reviews, and this is done by the patient having their review done in birthday month (and then 6months in between if needed). If the patient books this in advance, then that reduces delay as the GP can see it is already booked or have the results to hand when authorisation is due.

How can I get some help getting online to order my medications?

Sign up via reception to SystmOne online, we are exploring ideas with the PPG to get more people signed up, perhaps when we run the annual flu clinic. Also, encouraging people to use the managed repeats or repeat dispensing, and leaflets have been produced to promote this. Also, use of the NHS app is available.

Why does it take so long to get through to the dispensary on the phone?

Reasons identified above. The team are incredibly busy, dispensing, sorting deliveries, ordering stock, tackling actions from GPs, other members of staff, having contacts from chemists, the list goes on. We found that a lot of the phone calls to dispensary are for chasing prescriptions. We are hoping by extending opening hours, designated times in the morning only for phone calls and use of a managed repeat system, will reduce the need to contact dispensary, thus reducing the wait time.

We are also aware of a problem with the phone system being advised on the queue place, and we are trying to arrange an appointment with our phone system to see how we can make things more efficient, and patient centred.

Why have you stopped issuing blister packs?

We started offering this a number of years ago, but have recently had to stop, as it is not a funded service. It was taking a dispenser away from main dispensing for a day a week, due to the time it takes to do and recheck, and this was affecting service for our other patients. As we had no additional funding for this and was done as we thought it was helpful, we had to put a stop to it, for the benefit of the entire patient population. I am aware other pharmacies, such as Boots have stopped it for the same reasons, but there are still pharmacists that offer it, for those that really need it. We contacted everyone that was on our list, individually and most did not require the use of the service and were happy to manage their medication themselves, they just thought it was useful when it was originally offered to them. The patients that did want to continue, were redirected to an appropriate service.

When are the quiet time to collect my medication?

We are now going to be open 8-5.30pm, with just an hour’s closure at 2-3pm. We are hoping that this will reduce waits as will spread the opportunity through the day. Generally speaking, 8am, 12pm and 4-5pm are probably our busier times as these fall with before work/lunchtime and after school run.

When the dispensary is closed can you send out text messages as not all of us are on Facebook?

This is something we can look at, however, I am not sure if we are able to identify just dispensing patients on our text system, so may mean it is sent to everyone. This is something we are hoping we will not need to do going forwards, but of course cannot guarantee, as sickness can affect any work environment.

Can you issue medication for 3 months instead of just 4 weeks in certain cases?

No. It is practice policy to prescribe a month at a time. This reduces wastage of drugs, which costs the NHS a huge amount of money and is also a safety issue. It is not safe to have large supplies of certain drugs at home, so it is safer and easier if we have a strict policy for everyone and all medications. Of course, if people are going on holiday, we would take this into consideration.


Medication Request

We no longer take repeat prescription requests over the telephone for the following reasons:

  • The NHS no longer supports the re-ordering of prescriptions over the telephone. This is to ensure patient safety and to avoid mistakes.
  • This will also avoid blocking the phone lines which will increase telephone access when patients are trying to make appointments, request advice or emergency help.

The most quick and efficient way to order your repeat medication is online. Register with online services at the practice to obtain your user ID and Password, or click on the click below for further information.

It is easier and quicker to manage appointments and request repeat prescriptions via our online service. Simply log in and select an option. 

Please allow 120 hours, (5 full working days) excluding weekends and Bank Holidays, for your request to be processed.

We are currently making sure every patient has an up to date medication review, if you are able to order your medication online, please contact the surgery who will send a message to your registered GP to check if you are due a medication review. Please be reassured this will not effect you receiving your repeat medication


Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet — including prescriptions and appointments. You can also access your NHS account using the NHS website.

Dispensary Opening Times

For medication collection our dispensary is open Monday – Friday from 8am until 14.00pm and then 3:00 until 5:30pm

Ways to order your Medication

  • FOR DISPENSING PATIENTS: We have introduced a new ‘managed repeat’ ordering service.  This means as a dispensing patient, on collection of your medication, you can put in your order for the following month.  For those on regular stable repeats, this will simplify ordering of medication and ensure your request is in ahead of time and you will be given a date for collection, thus leading to a smoother service. – Speak to our dispensary team for more information
  • FOR NON-DISPENSING PATIENTS: if you are on stable, regular medication, we are able to set up a similar process, called ‘repeat dispensing’ or RD, with a pharmacy of your choice.  We are able to send over a batch of 12 months of prescriptions, which you collect from the pharmacy on a monthly basis, without having to put an order in.  The pharmacy are responsible for advising when your RD has come to an end (and that would prompt you to book your annual review, should you require one) – Speak to our dispensary team for more information
  • Via SystmOnline service
  • Drop your prescription sheet in the box outside to the surgery and indicate which items are required.
  • Leave your request sheet at the pharmacy of your choice remembering to allow time for processing as stated above.
  • Prescriptions can be posted directly to the surgery.

Out of Stock Medications

We have installed a whiteboard in our waiting room to keep patients up to date of any medications that we are unable to obtain from our suppliers and this will be updated regularly.

Your Repeat Medication

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.

28-day Prescribing

A 28-day prescribing interval is recognised by the NHS as making the best possible balance between patient convenience, good medical practice and minimal drug wastage

If you are prescribed a repeat medicine your doctor will be prescribing enough of each tablet to last you for 28 days.  For example if the dose requires you to take 2 tablets a day you will receive 56 tablets, 3 tablets a day 84 tablets etc.  There are some drugs which are packaged in 3 monthly amounts and continue to be dispensed in these packs, for example, contraceptive pills and HRT. The vast majority of patients collecting repeat prescriptions do not pay prescription charges.  However, if you do pay for your prescriptions and need more than 5 items in 4 months or 14 items in 12 months then it may be beneficial for you to buy a Prescription Pre-Payment If you do have to pay prescription – ask our dispensary team, your pharmacist for more information or contact the NHS Business Services Authority on 0845 850 0030 or visit NHSBSA.NHS.UK

The benefits of 28-day prescribing include:
 Reducing the amount of medicine which is currently wasted when your doctor stops or changes your medicine.
 Reducing the potential for error when your medication is changed in the middle of supply.
 Increased safety as you will not have multiple containers of the same medicine meaning it is likely to reduce the number of mistakes made by, for example, elderly patients, and it will also reduce the risk of potential poisoning of young children.
 Many medicines are supplied in 28-day ‘calendar packs’ that show the day of the week on the packaging, allowing you to check that you have taken your medication each day. You will start and finish the container of each medicine on the same day of the week, meaning it will be easier for your doctor to review all of the repeat medicines you are taking and to see when you have not ordered your medicines.
 Many patients have to make several visits each month to their surgery because they have run out of their medicines at different times. With 28-day prescribing you should finish your medicines all at the same time, meaning you will only have to visit the surgery once a month to collect your repeat medicines. It will also reduce the likelihood of needing to make an emergency request if you run out of medicine.
 Financial losses due to medicines waste represent a direct loss to patient care. Since 28-day prescribing reduces medicines waste, this in turn has a positive impact on patient care.

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 the button below for further information.

How to order your medication

By post

You can post your prescription slip or written request to us at the Practice. You must include a stamped addressed envelope for return by post if you will not be able to pick up your prescription from the Surgery (please allow extra time for any possible delays with the postal service).

Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

We are upgrading to the next phase of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) which will mean that almost all our prescriptions will be processed electronically from 25th March 2020.

  • Electronic prescriptions help save the NHS money
  • You will receive your prescriptions in the same way as you do now.

Further information about the EPS system, is shown at the bottom of this page.

In person

You can order in person by returning the right-hand half of a previous prescription for the required medications, or by submitting a handwritten request.

or speak to our dispensary staff about managed repeat request.

  • FOR DISPENSING PATIENTS: We have introduced a new ‘managed repeat’ ordering service.  This means as a dispensing patient, on collection of your medication, you can put in your order for the following month.  For those on regular stable repeats, this will simplify ordering of medication and ensure your request is in ahead of time and you will be given a date for collection, thus leading to a smoother service.
  • FOR NON-DISPENSING PATIENTS: if you are on stable, regular medication, we are able to set up a similar process, called ‘repeat dispensing’ or RD, with a pharmacy of your choice.  We are able to send over a batch of 12 months of prescriptions, which you collect from the pharmacy on a monthly basis, without having to put an order in.  The pharmacy are responsible for advising when your RD has come to an end (and that would prompt you to book your annual review, should you require one)
Managing Prescriptions with SystmOnline

For certain drugs, you can request a new prescription

All current repeat prescriptions are listed with the drug, dosage, quantity, last issued date and status. An empty tick box in the left-hand column means you can ask for a new prescription for that drug.

To request a repeat prescription

Select the drug by clicking on the box in the left-hand column. If the item you require is not listed or if you need to include further information with your request, type the details into the Medication Request Notes field. When providing this information, you should bear in mind that it may be visible to all practice staff.

Click Request Medication.The Medication Order Summary is displayed, stating that a request has been sent to the practice to re-prescribe the item(s), and that the prescription will be ready for collection in five working days (after 2pm).

Click Return to Current Medication to return to the Current Prescriptions page where the status of the drug will show that it has been requested.


To ensure safe requesting of repeat medication, please do not telephone for repeat prescriptions.

Additional information

Collecting your Prescription

Prescriptions can be collected after 5 working days, or enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for the prescription to be forwarded to you.  Tablets cannot be sent through the post.

  • If you are collecting Control drugs you will be asked for ID.
  • To cover absences for holidays etc. please order 10 days before travel.


A dispensing service is offered for people who live more than a mile from the practice.

Information Pharmacy – 2U

Pharmacy2U is NOT your local pharmacy and has nothing to do with us

You may have received a leaflet in the post inviting you to get your repeat prescriptions from a company called Pharmacy2U. Here are some important facts about Pharmacy2U which we feel you should know: 

Pharmacy2U is not your local community pharmacy and has nothing to do with us.

Pharmacy2U is a distance selling (internet only) pharmacy based on an industrial estate. 

As a patient, you cannot have any face-to-face contact with Pharmacy2U. 

Distance selling pharmacies like this are only allowed to deal with patients by post, telephone or internet, not in person. 

Prescriptions from Pharmacy2U are delivered by Royal Mail, unlike your medications handed to you in the pharmacy by a member of our team, or personally delivered to you by our own driver.

In October 2015, Pharmacy2U was fined £130,000 for selling its patients’ details to marketing companies including an Australian lottery. The Information Commissioners Office subsequently found that this data was used by the marketing companies to deliberately target elderly and vulnerable patients.

Over Christmas 2015, Pharmacy2U failed to send out prescriptions for three weeks, leaving thousands of patients stranded without their essential medicines.  

In February 2017, the Care Quality Commission inspected Pharmacy2U and found that it was “not safe, effective or well led”.

We believe that an internet business like Pharmacy2U is no substitute for your local pharmacy. Please support us to continue caring for you and your family by ignoring any correspondence from Pharmacy2U and obtaining your prescriptions here at your local NHS community pharmacy. 

Thank you for your support

NPA National Pharmacy Association

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 see a doctor, nurse practitioner or practice nurse at least once a year to review these regular medications and notification should appear on your repeat slip. Please ensure that you book an appropriate appointment to avoid unnecessary delays to further prescriptions.

Non-repeat items (acute requests)

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.

Prescription Deliveries

Prescriptions are delivered regularly to the following Post Offices during the afternoon (not on bank holidays)

  • Mosterton – Tuesday and Friday
  • Broadwindsor, Marshwood – Tuesday and Friday

Waste Management

Please return all wanted and/or unused medication to Barton House Surgery.