Electronic Repeat Dispensing
A new way to get your regular prescription medicines
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.
How does it work?
Electronic Repeat Dispensing means that your GP will sign a certain number of prescriptions for a specified duration (e.g. 6 months, 12 months) and the supply of these will be managed by your pharmacist when requested by you.
Electronic Repeat Dispensing allows your pharmacist to give the GP Practice feedback about your treatment and provide you with useful advice.
This is different to the 'repeat prescription services' that many Pharmacies offer whereby they send your request to us to process on your behalf and can take a few days.
Controlled drugs and medicines that you order infrequently or 'when required' are not suitable for repeat dispensing so you can continue to order these in the usual way when needed such as via Patient Access, the NHS App or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Quicker Process: You won't have to re-order your medicine from the GP Practice or try to predict what you will need from the Pharmacy when you collect your current supply. Instead, when you next need your medicines, contact your Pharmacy 1 or 2 days before and ask them to make up your next repeat dispensing batch.
- If you need your prescription earlier (e.g. a holiday) you will be able to ask the Pharmacy to make up your next supply- no more waiting for the GP Practice to do it.
- Less likely to run out of medicines: You should never run out of medicines because a batch of prescriptions have already been signed by your GP, available from the Pharmacy
- Less medicine waste and saves the NHS money: You are still in control if you do not need a medicine that time- tell the Pharmacy what you don't need and they wont give it you.
What about blood tests/investigations/reviews?
You will continue to receive text or letter reminders about checks and reviews which are due. We will also try to make repeat dispensing batches cover you until your blood tests and reviews are due, however sometimes this is not possible with multiple conditions. Your Community Pharmacist should advise you when you have received your last batch issue so at this point we recommend you contact the GP Practice to ask if reviews are due if you are unsure.
How do I get set up for Repeat Dispensing?
Electronic Repeat Dispensing can be arranged for you in three simple steps:
Talk to the prescription administrator team and ask them if you are suitable for Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD), they will then check with your GP.
If you are suitable for eRD for your regular medicines, your GP will authorise a batch of prescriptions. This will be based on your circumstances and clinical need- it may tie in with when your medication review is due. These eRD prescriptions will then be supplied by your pharmacy at regular intervals, and supplied to you when you ask the Pharmacy. We recommend giving them 1-2 days' notice if possible to allow them to order all the stock in for you in one go.
Collect your first eRD prescription from your chosen pharmacy when you require it. Simply ring or visit your pharmacy and ask for your repeat dispensing prescription. You can choose any pharmacy that dispenses NHS prescriptions and can change pharmacies during this time if you want to.
Before the Pharmacy make up your supply, to avoid medicines waste and check your medicines are still appropriate the Pharmacist should ask you:
- Have you seen any health professionals (GP, nurse or hospital doctor), since your last repeat prescription was supplied?
- 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?
If you don't need all of the medicines on your prescription, let the pharmacy staff know, so that they only supply the medicines you need.