Electronic Repeat Dispensing

A new way to get your regular prescriptions

We have reviewed our repeat prescription system in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic and in line with advice from NHS England.

We have been advised to make greater use of “Electronic Repeat Dispensing” (eRD) prescription service. This is a way of authorising your usual medication for the pharmacy to supply, at regular intervals, for up to 12 months. This will help the surgery reduce the amount of time spent processing repeat prescriptions and help manage the work load during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as helping the practice, there are benefits for the patient:

  • Quicker process. You will not need to contact the practice or the medicines order line to re-order your regular medications. Instead when you need your medicines, contact your pharmacy 1 or 2 days before and ask them to make up your next repeat dispensing batch.
  • Less likely to run out of medicines because a batch of prescriptions have already been signed by your GP, available from your nominated pharmacy.
  • If clinically appropriate, patients can request the next issue early or obtain more than one prescription, for example when going on holiday- no more waiting for the GP practice to do it.
  • Change nominated pharmacy at any time during the duration of the eRD.
  • Less medicines waste and saves the NHS money. If you do not need a medicine- tell the pharmacy what you don’t need and they won’t give it to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is patient consent required?

Patient consent has been temporarily waived until 30th March 2021.

Under normal circumstances patient consent is required, which can be verbal or written.

Are all patients being changed to repeat dispensing?

Each patient is being reviewed individually to decide if repeat dispensing is suitable, based on your circumstances and clinical need. If suitable a batch of prescriptions will be authorised.

How will the pharmacy know when I need my medicines?

The prescription will be sent automatically to your nominated pharmacy every one or two months or at an interval set by the prescriber.

My medicines run out at different times during the month- will repeat dispensing still work?

With repeat dispensing you need to get all the medicines that you will need over the period your prescription lasts for in one batch. Do not worry if this means you initially get some of your medicines early as you will use them over the next month or so.

How will I know when my repeat prescription will run out?

You can ask your pharmacy at any time how many more supplies you have left on your repeat dispensing prescription.

The pharmacy will tell you when they dispense the last supply from your repeat dispensing prescription and advise you to contact the practice. Your doctor or nurse may want to see you to review your medication before they will authorise more electronic prescriptions.

I think repeat dispensing would work for me- can I request this?

Yes. You can ask the practice to see if repeat dispensing is suitable for you when you order the next prescription. If it is, then we will issue your next prescription as a repeat dispensing prescription.