Repeat Prescription

Repeat and Acute Medication

Acute medication is medication that has been issued by the Surgery:

  • At the start of your treatment plan
  • ­For short term treatment
  • ­Treatment for emergency conditions

Repeat medication is medication that you are taking on a regular basis. The list of your repeat medication can be found online or attached to your repeat prescription.

Repeat Prescriptions

The repeat prescription system enables patients to obtain supplies of medication already entered on the computer by one of the Practice clinicians for prescription on a repeatable basis

Repeat prescriptions can be requested:

  • ­Online – Please click on the following link and register for patient access. If you already book your appointments online your prescriptions will automatically show once you log on.
  • ­In Person, in writing – preferably using the computer-generated side-slip, ticking each item required
  • ­Email: [email protected]: provide the patients full name, date of birth and medication required.
  • ­Community Pharmacy: Ask local pharmacies about their collection/delivery services for repeat prescriptions and requesting prescriptions on your behalf.

Please note: as a routine we do not accept requests over the telephone or fax

How long does it take for a prescription to be ready?

Any prescriptions will be issued at the doctors’ discretion. You might be asked to see a GP before an acute or repeat prescription is issued. This is to ensure safe prescribing.
Please make sure you request repeat prescriptions in plenty of time as we cannot process repeats as emergencies.
Please allow two full working days (this does not include weekends or bank holidays) for your prescription to be processed, checked and signed.

How to collect your prescription

  • ­You can collect a prescription from our reception, however we prefer to send your prescription to a nominated pharmacy electronically instead..
  • ­Some chemists will collect your prescription from the surgery, please ask local pharmacies about their collection/delivery services for repeat prescriptions
  • ­The Surgery provides an Electronic Prescribing Service where the prescription is sent electronically directly to the chemist of your choice so that you do not have to collect a prescription from the Surgery, but collect it straight from the chemist. To use this service, you need to nominate a chemist of your choice, by informing the surgery
  • ­If you wish your prescription returned by post to you, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope and send it to the practice.

Medication Reviews

  • ­Patients on repeat medication will be asked to see a doctor, nurse practitioner or practice nurse at least once a year to review these regular medications and notification should appear on your repeat slip.
  • ­You may also be required to do regular blood tests to ensure your treatment is safe and effective
  • ­Please ensure that you book an appropriate appointment for your medication review to avoid unnecessary delays to further prescriptions

Issues with Medication

We do our best to process your requests as quickly and safely as possible. However, sometimes due to clinical protocols we may not be able to issue you everything without first speaking to or seeing you for clinical safety. Also there may be items that are out of stock or classed as a controlled drug that may need further approval before issuing. If you do have any issues or experience delays, please do contact the practice at [email protected]

Specialist Medication: Shared Care + ADHD

General Approach to Specialist Request for Medication

We are required to prescribe in a consistent, safe and equitable way. Each medication request by any specialist will be considered and assessed in line with NHS GP best guidelines.

We prescribe when it is accordance with the medication license, NHS NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellent) guidance and also the NCL (North Central London) JFC (Joint Formulary Committee) guidelines.

Specialists are able to prescribe a wide array of medicines- including some that we are unable to. When specialists see patients through the NHS they are obliged to prescribe in accordance with the hospital formulary which typically has the most cost-effective options as first line. When the same specialists see patients privately these restrictions are not in place and therefore the Specialists often prescribe on the basis of effectiveness rather than cost-effectiveness and therefore go straight for options that, through the NHS, would be 4th or 5th (and only prescribed if more cost-effective options had not worked). We appreciate why specialists often focus on ultimate effectiveness. We also appreciate why patients often do not want to privately pay for very expensive / less cost-effective medications. Equally, when more cost-effective options haven’t been tried first this does prevent us from prescribing the medication in question.

Patients are always free to follow the private specialist’s advice and recommendations but in some cases (when we are not able to prescribe the medication) this means obtaining the medication privately from the specialist on an ongoing basis or considering referral to an NHS specialist so they can recommend on an NHS approved treatment option.

The key considerations taken into account when we are requested to prescribe certain specialist medications are outlined in the NHS “Responsibility for prescribing between Primary & Secondary/Tertiary Care” guidance.

In summary these are:

  • The Legal responsibility for prescribing lies with the doctor or health professional who signs the prescription and it is the responsibility of the individual prescriber to prescribe within their own level of competence. Further advice on this is contained within the General Medical Council’s (GMC) core guidance “Good Medical Practice” (GMP). A recommendation to prescribe a medicine by a specialist does not reduce the legal responsibility on the actual prescriber.
  • It is of the utmost importance that the GP feels clinically competent to prescribe the necessary medicines.
  • Shared care is a particular form of the transfer of clinical responsibility from a hospital or specialist service to general practice in which prescribing by the GP, or other primary care prescriber, is supported by a shared care agreement. The shared care agreement is designed to enable the primary care prescriber to feel able to prescribe however it also does not reduce the legal responsibility (for the drug and any consequences of it) which sit with the prescribing clinician.
  • When a specialist considers a patient’s condition to be stable or predictable, they may seek the agreement of the GP concerned (and the patient) to share their care. In proposing shared care agreements, a specialist should advise which medicines to prescribe, what monitoring will need to take place in primary care, how often medicines should be reviewed, and what actions should be taken in the event of difficulties.
  • Stable Patients: A patient who has been prescribed the medication for at least 3 months and monitored to demonstrate the treatment has been optimised and the response is consistent
  • When a shared care protocol exists and where the GP has confirmed willingness to accept the transfer of care, the hospital must initiate and abide by that agreement.
  • Referral to the GP should only take place once the GP has agreed to this in each individual case, and the hospital or specialist will continue to provide prescriptions until a successful transfer of responsibilities.
  • Patients should never be used as a conduit for informing the GP that prescribing is to be transferred. Any requests to enter into a shared care agreement should come directly from the specialist to GP.
  • People who are being treated on the advice of the secondary care team, but are no longer actively being seen in that setting, may still need review should problems arise. The appropriate level of care and/or advice should be available from the secondary care team in a timely manner without necessarily requiring a new referral.

ADHD Medications

Recently we have been receiving a large number of requests to prescribe ADHD medications in situations when it has not been possible to do so and we therefore thought it might be helpful to have a section describing how the general approach to specialist medicines (as described above) impacts on our ability (or otherwise) to prescribe these medications.

There are many adults nationally with undiagnosed ADHD. Media and social media coverage of this has lead many patients to suspect they have ADHD and to come forward requesting referral for an assessment. We can appreciate why, for these patients, getting clarification and potentially a diagnosis of ADHD is important and potentially life-changing. Unfortunately, as a result of the huge increase in adults with suspected ADHD, the waiting times for assessments on the NHS has become very long (up to 4 years).

Understandably some patients are reverting to self-funding private assessments. Often this results in a request for us to start prescribing stimulant ADHD medications. Unfortunately in the vast majority of cases this is not possible.

Stimulant ADHD medicines are a controlled drug. They can also be associated with significant side effects or exacerbate many underlying mental health conditions. They are also a specialist drug which can only be prescribed under an approved shared care agreement. Until a shared care agreement is in place all prescribing needs to occur in Secondary care (within the specialist clinic). Once the patient is stable on medication the Psychiatrist can write to the GP asking if they are able to enter into a shared care agreement through which (supported on an ongoing basis by the Specialist) the practice can take over the prescribing.

Due to the long waiting lists on the NHS a large number of providers offering ADHD assessments and treatment have arisen. While many are offering appropriate care and appropriately detailed assessments there have been reports1 of patients being given an ADHD diagnosis and advised to commence treatment on the basis of inadequate assessments.

In order for the Practice to be able to enter into a Shared Care Agreement the following criteria will need to be met

Patients should never be used as a conduit for informing the GP that prescribing is to be transferred. Any requests to enter into a shared care agreement should come directly from the specialist to GP.

1. The diagnosis has been made by a Psychiatrist specialising in ADHD and in accordance with UK criteria (the diagnostic criteria in some countries is different) and that we can be confident that the assessment has been a full / detailed one.

2. The request to enter into a Shared Care agreement needs to come directly from the Psychiatrist.  The Psychiatrist must be readily available for both the patient and GP should any issues or queries arise.

Patients should never be used as a conduit for informing the GP that prescribing is to be transferred. Any requests to enter into a shared care agreement should come directly from the specialist to GP. 

3. The patient is going to remain under the care of that Psychiatrist for the entire period treatment is occurring and that this continuity is not dependent on the patient being able to self-fund or private insurance (which sometimes patient lose access to if a work-scheme and sometimes insurance companies refuse to cover ongoing care). It is obviously not possible to enter into a “shared care” agreement when continuity of care by the specialist is not guaranteed.

4. The specialist is recommending a treatment course in line with the local protocols and is happy sign the local shared-care agreement (which many private specialists are not).

We will obviously consider any request to take on prescribing responsibility. In practice, however, these requirements mean that for the vast majority of cases, it will only be possible to routinely enter into (and prescribe under) a shared-care agreement when a patient is under the care of a NHS specialist ADHD team. In a situation in which the four points above are not met it is highly unlikely that it will be possible to take over prescribing.

In many cases previously what was portrayed as “shared care” has in fact been a complete transfer of care into primary care, leaving patients unwell and unsupported on potent medications and the practice unsupported and prescribing contrary to local guidelines and, potentially, the best interests of the patient.

Patients are free to obtain a private assessment. Private assessments tend to lean towards over-diagnosis and therefore if the provider feels ADHD is unlikely patients may feel it is not worth waiting on the NHS for an assessment. If, however, the private providers feels a diagnosis of ADHD is indicated then it may well be worth waiting for a confirmatory assessment / diagnosis on the NHS. Once the confirmatory assessment through the NHS has occurred we may well be able to enter into a shared-care agreement under which we can prescribe. Until we can take on prescribing, however, it would need to be done by the private provider. Controlled drugs are typically only prescribed a month at a time and this may require multiple consultations with the private provider. Therefore patients that opt to pay for a private ADHD assessment and opt to commence treatment privately need to be aware (and accept) that prescribing through their NHS GP will usually only be possible once they are similarly under the care of a NHS ADHD specialist team and that prior prescribing would need to occur privately- either with the provider that made the initial diagnosis or an alternative private provider. Stimulant medicines used for ADHD are moderately expensive and the private provider may state that a consultation (and associated fee) is required for each prescription. This therefore amounts to a not insignificant financial commitment. For many patients, therefore it is not a viable option and we therefore strongly encourage our patients to view a private assessment as a screening process rather than something that will expedite treatment.

For the same reasons patients that have had assessments abroad (whether private or through the relevant state healthcare system) will likely need to have been seen through a NHS ADHD service with ongoing input before it will be possible to enter into a shared-care agreement and prescribe medication through the NHS. As above we will consider any request to take over prescribing however the four criteria stated above still need to be met and we therefore recommend patients registering whose care has been abroad to ensure they have adequate supplies of their medication (or a mechanism to obtain more medication) pending transfer into a NHS ADHD specialist clinic. This includes that the diagnosis has been made by a Psychiatrist specialising in ADHD and in accordance with UK criteria (the diagnostic criteria in some countries is different) and that we can be confident that the assessment has been a full / detailed one.

As mentioned, we have taken this position after careful consideration to have a clear and consistent approach that is based on quality, safety and equity.

NHS prescription charges

NHS prescription charges – NHS (