Health leaders in Fylde and Wyre have launched a project to change the way people order repeat prescriptions to cut down on the estimated £1.6million of potentially dangerous waste medicines being stocked up in people’s homes.

The move will mean the ordering of repeat prescriptions will no longer be possible from local pharmacies. Instead, people will be required to order directly from their GP practice or use online alternatives.

Doctors’ surgeries in the area have started moving more and more patients on to an electronic system which makes it easier for them to process prescriptions. Many people are also now able to use the online Patient Access website and mobile app to tell their doctor exactly what they need.

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buys local health services, has introduced the changes to improve patient safety and reduce unnecessary costs from waste.

Fleetwood GP Dr Jacky Panesar, the CCG’s clinical lead for medicines, said: “We have seen that when patients order their own prescriptions this is safer and reduces waste. Over-ordering, stockpiling and unused medicines cost the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds every year. It also presents a potential risk to patient safety.

“The only thing that is changing is that people will not be able to order a repeat prescription at their local pharmacy and pharmacists will not be able to order prescriptions on patients’ behalf. People will still be able to collect or receive their medication from wherever they do now.

“We are also keen for more people to take control of their repeat prescriptions by ordering it themselves online when they need it.

“This will make sure more and more people understand their medication and how they are meant to take it. The prescriptions can be sent electronically directly to the patients preferred pharmacy as required.”

The change has already been implemented at two practices in Fleetwood – Fleetwood Surgery and Broadway Medical Centre – and The Old Links Surgery in St Annes. More practices are set to come on board in the coming weeks.

All patients affected will be written to personally to inform them of the change.

The CCG has worked with GP practices and pharmacies to get their support and ensure a smooth transition into the new way of working.

Practices will work with any particularly vulnerable patients and their families to ensure they are not negatively affected by the changes.

Any patients the practices or pharmacies feel would struggle to cope with the change will be exempt and will be allowed to continue having prescriptions ordered on their behalf.

Anyone who is affected and has concerns can call the dedicated query line on 01253 957486.


Notes:

  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available at fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/choice
  • The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Influence membership scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.