Order your repeat prescriptions but think before you tick the box

Health chiefs in Staffordshire are urging patients with repeat prescriptions to think about which medications they will need over the Christmas period and which treatments they no longer use.  

With GPs and pharmacies offering limited opening hours over Christmas and New Year, it’s important that people whose health relies on it don’t run out of medication.  But it can be easy to just order everything on a prescription at once - even if patients don’t really need to.

The NHS spends an estimated £300m on unused medication, and is asking patients to please think before they tick the box and only order what they actually need.

Repeat prescriptions can be ordered by going into the practice or going online by using GP Online Services, a simple website that can also be used to make and cancel appointments and view medical records.  

If patients are not already registered, they can find out more or ask for a registration form from their GP Practice.  If people take two forms of photo ID in to the surgery they can sign up there and then.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “In order to stay well, patients should make sure they have enough medicine for over the Christmas period.

“While we urge to ensure you are stocked up for Christmas, we also urge you to make sure you are stocked up with the right things. If you don’t need a repeat prescription of one or more of your medications, don’t order it. 

“Instead make an appointment with your GP or consultant to talk about why you feel you don’t need the medication.  Alternatively, have a chat with the pharmacist.  They’re trained professionals and can offer advice.  And if you don’t want a conversation at the counter they have private rooms available.”

For more information on what you can do to stay well visit www.nhs.uk/staywell