Why can’t I just book an appointment to see my GP?

Why can’t I just book an appointment to see my GP? This and its related question, “Why can’t I see a GP”, are clearly at the forefront of all of our minds at present and are often in the Press. We’d like to help address these valid questions by sharing some information and insights into

Contact us online. Get help from your GP with our online consultation service.

Prescriptions

Ordering repeat prescriptions

The easiest ways to order repeat prescriptions are:

  • using your NHS account (through the NHS website or in the NHS App)
  • using the GP online system: SystmOnline

These accounts show you all your repeat medicine and dosage and you can choose the ones you need.

You can also:

  • fill out a repeat prescriptions request form
  • bring the paper form to the surgery, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6.30pm

We do not take repeat prescription requests over the phone or email.

Repeat Dispensing Service

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), GPs and pharmacies are moving suitable patients to electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD). You might be suitable for eRD if you get regular or repeat medicines that don’t change. eRD means your GP can send your regular or repeat prescriptions 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. 

What eRD means for you

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. It’s reliable, secure and confidential. Your regular prescriptions are stored securely on the NHS database, so they’ll be ready at the pharmacy each time you need them.

How eRD can benefit you

If you get regular or repeat medicines, you might be suitable for eRD. Using eRD, you can: 

  • save time by avoiding unnecessary trips or calls to your GP every time you need to order a repeat prescription
  • order or cancel your repeat prescriptions online (if your GP practice offers this service)
  • pick up your repeat prescriptions directly from your pharmacy without having to visit your GP
  • spend less time waiting for your prescription in the pharmacy or GP practice, which means you can stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact when you need your repeat prescription during the coronavirus pandemic
  • save paper – you won’t need a paper prescription to collect your medicine from the pharmacy

How do I sign up for eRD?

It’s really easy to sign up for eRD – just ask your GP or pharmacist to set it up for you.

SystmOnline

It is easier and quicker to manage request repeat prescriptions via our online service. You will need a unique username and password to log in. This will be generated by our reception staff, please access the “Register for online services” button shown below to register.

NHS App

Download the NHS App, or open the NHS website in a web browser, to set up and log in to your NHS account. Owned and run by the NHS, your NHS account is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services online, including appointments, prescriptions and health record.

NHS App

Collecting your prescription

You can usually collect your prescription from the pharmacy 3 to 5 working days after you have ordered it.

You will need to choose a pharmacy to collect your prescription from. We call this nominating a pharmacy. We will then send your prescriptions to the pharmacy electronically once the GP has signed them.

You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time:

  • on the app or website where you order repeat prescriptions
  • at your GP practice
  • at any pharmacy that accepts repeat prescriptions

Questions about your prescription

If you have questions about your medicine, your local pharmacists can answer these. They can also answer questions on medicines you can buy without a prescription.

The NHS website has information on how your medicine works, how and when to take it, possible side effects and answers to your common questions.

If you would like to speak to someone at the GP surgery about your prescription:

  • phone our pharmacist after 10am on 0123 445 6678
  • fill in our medication query form.

Medication reviews

If you have a repeat prescription, we may ask you to come in for a regular review. We will be in touch when you need to come in for a review.

Prescription charges

Find out more about prescription charges (nhs.uk).

What to do with old medicines

Take it to the pharmacy you got it from or bring it in to the surgery. Do not put it in your household bin or flush it down the toilet.

About pharmacists

As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer advice on minor illnesses such as:

  • coughs
  • colds
  • sore throats
  • tummy trouble
  • aches and pains

They can also advise on medicine that you can buy without a prescription.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

Additional information

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 will require a review with your Doctor either by telephone or in person, 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.

Ordering a prescription for a child

‘I need to order a repeat for my child. Please could you advise me on how to do it online.’

You can order a repeat prescription for your child in the same ways described under ‘how to order your medication’. The best way to do this is from SystmOnline.

Your child will need their own SystmOnline account. Please speak to your GP practice, they will be able to set your child up with a SystmOnline account or allow you proxy access via your own account if they are under 11 years of age. TPP advise you to get in touch with your GP practice first so you can bring any forms of identification they might require.

Avoid Wasting Medication

The NHS have determined that we are only able to provide two months supply of medication in most instances (apart from the Pill and HRT). This is to prevent medication wastage.

If there are any medications you no longer use, please advise the receptionist who will arrange to have them removed from your repeat medications.

The video shown below shows how we can reduce the waste on repeat prescriptions, wasted medication impacts on our NHS services.

New Medicine Service (NMC)

The first time you are prescribed a medicine to treat a long-term condition, you may be able to get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local Pharmacist through a free scheme called the New Medicine Service (NMS).