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Please be aware : we do not take prescription requests over the telephone unless you are an elderly, housebound patient


From 1st April 2020 patients have had to order medication for themselves and not use a third party service (such as a pharmacy) to get repeats for them.

Your Medication

What are repeat prescriptions?

Repeat prescriptions are those medicines you receive on a regular basis, usually for a long-term condition, without having to go and see your GP every time you need them.

What changed?

From 1 April 2020, you (or a person you’ve nominated) have to order your repeats prescriptions directly from Willerby & Swanland Surgery. You can no longer order repeat prescriptions through your pharmacy, or an online pharmacy or other dispensing contractor.

What is not changed?

If you already ordered your repeat prescriptions directly from Willerby and Swanland Surgery you’re not affected and don’t need to do anything.

If you collect your medicine from your local pharmacy, or have arrangements in place to have it delivered to your door then speak to your pharmacy to continue these arrangements.

If you receive your medication through a monitored dosage system, for example a dosette box or a blister pack, this change will not affect you.

Ways to order your repeat medication ?

Online – if you have registered with us for full access to your medical records this will included the ability to order repeat medication. 

(If you haven't registered for full online access you can do this by following our instructions on the Online Access page.


Through the national NHS App – Download the NHS APP and find out more.


In person here at the practice – Simply tick the medicines you need on the white, tear-off section of your prescription and drop it in to us - or fill in a blank request form at reception


By post to us

Newly Registered Patients

When you first register with the practice, please let the receptionist know if you are taking any  prescribed medication. If you are, you will need to have a review with one of our Doctors. Please bring your medication or current repeat slip to the appointment.


Ordering your repeat prescription


If your medical condition is stable, your  GP may decide to put some or all of your medication onto a repeat prescription. This means that you will be able to reorder your medication without needing to see your GP every month. The list of the medication that you are able to order using this system can be found on the white 'repeat half' of your prescription form. 

If you require medication which is not on your current repeat slip, you will need to contact the reception to request it - this may mean you will need to see a doctor.

You cannot order acute medication online or on the repeat list (it does not appear) - you must request this in person or by written request. (see below for more details)

There are different ways to order your medication - and from April 2020 you must arrange to order your repeat medication personally - you will not be able to use third party such as asking a pharmacy to order your medication for you  (but see below *)

1) Request your prescriptions online.

When you register for online access you can simply log-on to your online access provider account and order your repeat medication from there. Select the prescription you need and click the 'Request Medication' button. All you have to do then is collect your prescription as normal two working days later. (Three working days if you would like us to send it to the local Pharmacy - but remember to allow them time to make your prescription up)


If you are not registered for online access - you can do this now without having to attend the surgery by downloading the NHSApp onto your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Alternatively you can download the relevant form from the Online Access page and bring it in to the surgery with appropriate documentation and our reception team will create your log-in details. 

Important Note: with the onset of Covid-19 we request all our patients to at least use the NHSApp so you do not have to enter the surgery premises when you do not need to see a clinician.

2) Bring in your order in person

Tick the items you require on the list you received with your previous prescription. Leave the request slip in the special box in the reception lobby, or in the letter box on the door when the surgery is shut,  no need to join the queue for the desk.

Important Note: with the onset of Covid-19 we request all our patients to at least use the NHSApp so you do not have to enter the surgery premises when you do not need to see a clinician. 

3) Post

Allow a week if posting first class. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you wish the prescription to be returned to you by post.

Why do we not take requests by telephone?

Three reasons:

1) It is not recommended NHS best practice and we try to follow these guidelines

2) It is more risky - there are many similar names of medicines which can lead to errors and telephones are not always clear when stating numbers (thirteen instead of thirty etc)

3) It blocks the phone lines - telephone requests for repeat prescriptions block the line into the surgery for quite a long time, compared for example, with requesting an appointment or a home visit. This means that it is more difficult for you to get through to the surgery in an emergency.

Why do we need two working days to prepare your prescription for collection at the surgery?

  • When a request is made your computer records are consulted to see if you are due for a medication review. 

  • If this is the case the doctor is asked to see if another repeat can be given before you need to be seen. 

  • Please be aware that only a doctor can authorise the medications which appear on your list of repeat prescriptions. If you request a drug not on this list the dispenser will need to gain approval from a doctor, which may delay the processing of your request.

Treatment requests from hospital doctors / Outpatient Department Letters


If a patient has attended the Outpatients' Department at the hospital and has brought in a discharge letter or treatment request which includes a prescription drug request, this will be passed to the doctor for approval / issue. Such prescriptions will usually be available after 48 hours (2 working days) of receiving the request.

Please be aware that some hospital prescriptions can only be obtained from the hospital pharmacy. To avoid frustration and delay, please check before you leave the hospital

REMEMBER - YOU MUST ALLOW AT LEAST 48 WORKING HOURS TO ISSUE PRESCRIPTIONS - so bear this in mind when ordering at weekends or Bank Holidays.


Prescriptions are divided into two main categories. These are repeat prescriptions and acute prescriptions.

Repeat Prescriptions

Repeat prescriptions are for medication which is needed to treatment on-going chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, respiratory or heart conditions etc.

These items are agreed with the doctor - usually when a firm diagnosis has been made and he/she will add these to the patient record with directions on use and dose instructions.

We will normally issue this type of prescription in sufficient quantity to last for 56 days (2 months) and for a specific number of repeat issues. Once this number has been used up, the patient will be advised that they may need to see the doctor to have their medication reviewed. This is necessary to ensure the effectiveness and appropriateness of treatment.

Acute Prescriptions

Acute prescriptions are for medicines needed to alleviate an acute problem that has just arisen, or a chronic condition which has worsened (exacerbated).


Most acute prescriptions are issued during a consultation with the doctor.

If an acute prescription has been issued, it is normally for a specified duration. If the condition has not resolved the doctor may issue a further prescription - however this can only be requested at the time by the patient by way of a written request or request in person.

Staff have been instructed not to accept requests by telephone and you cannot use the on-line ordering system to request acute prescriptions.

If an acute prescription has not been issued, the doctor will normally pass a message for the patient, either advising them to make an appointment or giving advice.

Some over-the-counter items are not given on prescription. The receptionist will advise on whether a requested item may be given on prescription.

Holiday Medication

If you are Going abroad for less than three months  


If you are away from the UK for less than three months you may be able to get free or reduced healthcare if you are visiting another country.  

In EEA countries and Switzerland, this will be covered if you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). However, many popular destinations outside the EEA don't have an agreement with the UK to provide healthcare, and not all costs such as transport back to the UK will be covered if there is an agreement.

It is advisable to get your own travel insurance.

If you take a particular medicine, you should check that it is available in the country that you plan to live in.

Local policy allows your GP in the UK to prescribe 56 days supply of your medication after which you will need to register with a local doctor in the country in which you are staying to ensure continued supply.

Some medicines may have a different brand name in other countries.  


Can my GP prescribe extra medication to cover my trip?


If you need medication for a stable long-term health condition your GP may be able to supply you with a prescription to cover your holiday. It depends on several things.


The majority of people will find that their normal repeat prescription supply period will be sufficient to cover their holiday period.  

If your normal repeat prescription is due whilst you are away, your GP may be able to give you an early repeat prescription to ensure that you do not run out whilst you are away.

However, this will depend on, for example:  

  • how long your GP thinks you’ll continue to need your medication

  • how often your treatment needs to be reviewed

  • how long you will be away

Please be aware that this is at the discretion of the GP and will be applicable in a minority of cases .


If you are going abroad for more than three months


The NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to 3 months for existing long term conditions.


If you are no longer resident in the UK and are living abroad, the NHS normally won't pay for any treatment or services. This includes people who are in receipt of UK state retirement pensions.


No longer resident, means that you have left the country for more than three months. Therefore, you will have to obtain healthcare cover in the country you are in, or get private medical insurance. 

If you are going to be abroad for more than 3 months then what you are entitled to at NHS expense is a sufficient supply of your regular medication to get to the destination and find an alternative supply of that medication.

Prescribing Medicines Policy

Doctors in primary care and secondary care are trained and encouraged to prescribe medicines by their chemical compound name rather than using a brand name which might be given by a particular manufacturer or manufacturers.

One of the reasons for this is that there can many brand names for one particular generic medicine (for example, ibuprofen is sold as Nurofen or Anadin Ibuprofen to name but two). Possible confusion or mistakes are eliminated when doctors refer to a medicine by the same generic name when discussing or prescribing.


Furthermore, most people will be aware that different brands vary in cost. 


When a drug company produces a new drug there is often a patent which prevents anyone else making the same drug. They may well price that branded drug at a figure to recoup their research costs as well provide their shareholders with a profit. Once that patent has ended the opportunity exists for other drug companies to make the exact same formulation as the original branded drug but at a much lower cost to the NHS. This generic version is neither inferior nor sub-standard nor less effective - it has to pass the exact same licensing requirements as the original branded drug.

The reduction in cost is a major benefit to the NHS and, as indicated above, because GPs are asked to prescribe by chemical compound name it enables pharmacies to source the drugs in line with NICE Guidelines for medicines which are "the most cost effective, efficacious drug".


What difference does that make to a patient ?


All pharmacists have a legal duty to dispense exactly what the doctor has written on a prescription. When a doctor writes a prescription they are asked to follow good practice and prescribe by the generic name (with one or two exceptions for certain drugs and certain medical conditions).


If a doctor has written a brand name for the medicine then the pharmacist must dispense the brand - regardless of whether it is expensive or not - and regardless of whether a more cost effective generic version is available.


However, if the doctor has prescribed the medicine by generic name then the pharmacist can dispense whatever version of the medicine they have available - because every version will have exactly the same therapeutic effect irrespective of who made it or whether it is a different size, colour or shape. 


Generic medicines are often cheaper for the NHS. Even for medicines that you can buy, such as paracetamol, there can often be quite a difference in price between different brands. Some people liken generic medicines to other areas where differing version of a similar product are available for consumers - for example, branded cereals versus supermarket own brand cereals - and believe that the 'copy' is inferior. This is not that case with medicines.  As stated above, a generic version of a branded drug must legally behave in exactly the same way and produce exactly the same therapeutic effect at exactly the same dose - even to the point of having the same side effects !!


How does this apply to me ?


Willerby and Swanland Surgery has agreed to work with East Riding of Yorkshire CCG Medicines Management and with the Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust to prescribe generic medication wherever possible.


In this way, common names are used in accordance with the hospital formulary - and that means vastly reduced confusion over names and doses - and also means we adhere to NICE guidelines to prescribe the most cost effective, efficacious treatment to all our patients.


Patients cannot insist on a branded drug - and without reasonable medical cause the doctor will not be able to prescribe branded products.


If this policy causes you any concerns, please discuss with the ERYCCG Medicines Management team by telephoning the NHS East Riding CCG on 01482 650700

No telephone requests
2 days notice
Hospital requests
Acute or Repeat
Holiday medicine
Prescibing policy
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