Repeat Prescriptionsblue_yellow_pills

Prescription Ordering Changes

From the 1st July 2020, St John’s House Medical Centre will no longer facilitate prescription orders over the telephone. The first and most important reason is safety. We are getting increasing numbers of discrepancies between what the patient says they have ordered and what has been requested by the medical receptionist. Mistakes are likely due to confusion with drug name pronunciation and it is shown that 4 out of every 100 telephone calls may contain an error in the information received during a telephone request.

In an effort to minimise risk of potential errors causing significant events and shorten telephone queues from your recent feedback, we encourage all of our patients to request their prescriptions using our electronic services. There are multiple ways you can do this, including:

  1. Online (Patient Access)- follow the link at the top of this page and complete a simple registration. You can register with the reception team for this with your ID. After registration, you can also choose to download The NHS app and order repeat medications via your smart phone
  2. Engage Consult – you can submit your prescription requests via our website “online consultation”. Please follow the link on our website home page
  3. Order from a Pharmacy - contact your local pharmacy who can order and deliver your medication for you

Telephone prescription ordering are only reserved for patients identified by their GP as being vulnerable or those who do not have access to mobile phone apps, tablet or computer.

These changes will mean that patients are in control of the ordering process and able to manage their own medication needs. These changes also aim to reduce errors in the ordering and processing of repeat prescriptions by removing a number of steps where mistakes may happen. For example, the names of some medicines can be difficult to remember, or pronounce, so errors can be made when they are requested over the phone. Online ordering of prescriptions also reduces the administrative burden on GP practices and community pharmacies. This will free up their time and allow them to focus on other healthcare tasks.


If you or someone you care for uses the same medicines regularly, you may be able to benefit from using the NHS Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) service

NHS Electronic Repeat Dispensing Service

What is the NHS Electronic Repeat Dispensing Service?

The NHS Electronic Repeat Dispensing service is intended for patients with a long-term condition, which requires repeat medicines that do not change regularly. Repeat Dispensing allows the prescriber to authorize and issue a batch of prescriptions for up to 12 months. These prescriptions are stored electronically, and then dispensed and supplied to the patient by the patient's community pharmacist when they are needed. The patient does not have to request prescriptions from the GP during this period.

To support the effective roll out of this valuable NHS service, NHS England has developed this short animation to help the public to be aware of this service, and its benefits. Please visit:

Why NHS Electronic Repeat Dispensing Service is important to COVID-19 response?


As part of resilience efforts around COVID-19, NHS England has encouraged practices to optimise the benefits of Electronic Prescription Services (EPS). We are changing our patients to the Electronic Repeat Dispensing system to help the GP practice and your community pharmacy teams to reduce the amount spend on processing repeat prescriptions. This is important to help the NHS manage its workload during the COVID-19 pandemic as it:


  • Supports work flows to avoid patients having to travel to their surgery
  • Supports the outcomes of the increased use of remote consulting
  • Provides a safe, secure and traceable mechanism for transferring prescriptions


Why have I been changed to Electronic Repeat Dispensing?

As well as helping NHS staff working in GP practices and community pharmacies as part of COVID-19 response, there are also clear benefits for patients:


  • You will not need to contact the Practice to reorder your regular medications
  • You can change nominated dispenser at any time during the duration of the eRD prescription so if your normal pharmacy needed to close you would still be able to get your medication from a different pharmacy.
  • Your pharmacy will check if there have been any changes to your health or problems with your medication each time you collect your medication to make sure any problems are spotted and you get the help you need


Are all patients being changed to repeat dispensing?


No. Each patient is being reviewed individually by one of our Prescribers to decide if repeat dispensing is suitable. Only patients that the prescriber has decided are safe to use repeat dispensing will be changed to this type of prescription.


How will the pharmacy know when I need my medicines?


The prescription will be sent automatically to your nominated pharmacy each month or every 2 months depending on how long your prescription will last. You will then need to arrange to collect your medication or ask a friend, relative or neighbour to collect your medication for you.


If your pharmacy delivers your medication they should have this on their records and automatically deliver the prescription each time they receive it.





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 your next repeat prescription. If this is in agreement with our prescribers (GP, Nurse Practitioner or Practice Pharmacist), then we will issue your next prescription as a repeat dispensing prescription.


Step by Step Guide on how to obtain your medication using the Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) Prescribing System


For further information as to how this works please refer to information below. NHS England has developed this short animation to help the public to be aware of this service, and its benefits. Please visit:



If you have received a text from the surgery saying your prescription has been moved to this method of ordering you do not need to do anything and can go to STEP 2.


For patients who wish to move to eRD:

Talk to your prescriber (GP, Nurse Practitioner or Practice Pharmacist) and ask them if you can move to Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD). If your prescriber regards you to be eligible, your permission will be requested to share information about your treatment with your nominated pharmacy (any pharmacy which dispenses NHS medication). This enables your community pharmacy team to communicate to your prescriber about your treatment and the ability to provide you with tailored advice. Your prescriber will then authorise a number of eRD prescriptions (to cover a determined number of months). The duration will be based on your circumstances and clinical need.



Request and collect your first eRD prescription from your nominated community pharmacy.  



When you need your next month’s prescription, contact your community pharmacy / go back to your community pharmacy to request and collect.


Your pharmacy will ask you the following questions prior to issuing you your medications:

  • Have you seen any health professionals (GP, nurse practitioner, practice pharmacist or hospital doctor), since your last repeat prescription was supplied and has your health conditions changed?
  • Have you recently started taking any new medicines – either on prescription or that you have bought over the counter?
  • Have you been having any problems with your medication or experiencing any side effects?
  • Are there any items on your repeat prescription that you don’t need this month?

Please inform the pharmacy of only the medications you need, so they can issue what you require. This will aid waste reduction and save NHS resources. If you have any questions about your medicines, just ask at the pharmacy; they’ll be happy to help you.


When your pharmacy supplies your last prescription, they will advise you to contact your GP practice to arrange for your medication to be reviewed and if it is clinically appropriate to issue another eRD prescription.


Should you have any other questions or concerns regarding this process, please contact your GP Practice or Community Pharmacy.




Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website