We have for some years offered online access to records via the NHS App / NHS login. We are rolling this out on an opt-in basis . It is on offer to patients age 16 and over. Read on to find out more. For under 11s, it is possible for parents or guardians to get “proxy access” . Between age 11 and 16 it is more complicated, and an ethical approach is needed. We need to respect the confidentiality of the young person, whilst often they would wish their parents/ guardians to be involved in their care.
For many years, pharmacies have been able to request prescriptions from practices. We want to improve safety and reduce wastage in this process. Local practices in Bow (Bow Health Network) and local pharmacies have agreed a new standard approach
What can my pharmacy request for me?
- Repeat medication
- Repeat dispensing medication (batches of repeat medication)
- Dosette medication
What can’t my pharmacy request for me?
The following items need to be requested directly by yourself
- Any acute medication (intended to be one-off, eg course of antibiotics)
- Past medication (not listed as current)
- Any medication we haven’t prescribed for you before
- Variable use medication, such as creams, ointments
- Painkillers – opiates including tramadol, co-codamol, codeine, dihydrocodeine, morphine/oxycodone
- Hypnotics (sleeping tablets) – including benzodiazepines and melatonin
- Salbutamol inhalers – it is important for your safety we keep track of your reliever inhaler use. Your preventer inhaler can be requested by the pharmacy.
- Rescue packs – antibiotics and prednisolone for COPD exacerbations – this is to help us keep track of usage to ensure your safety.
What if, by mistake, my pharmacy asks for medication in these categories?
The practice will inform the pharmacy and the patient, that the request needs to come from the patient. With time, the pharmacy should be able to recognise these items and let you know to ask us for them directly. The pharmacy or reception should also be able to help you with NHS app requests
The quickest and easiest way to get your repeat prescription is through the NHS app. If you go to the medication icon, at bottom of screen, it will show your items on repeat prescription. Your request then goes straight to the GP’s inbox. This is more direct than doing an online consultation to request.
If you have a long term condition which is stable, and you don’t want to be requesting every 1 or 2 months, ask about batch prescriptions (aka “RDS”). Our inhouse pharmacists can set this up for you. This means we pre-authorise several prescriptions. Every 1-2 months you simply collect next medication from your pharmacist. The batch can last 6-12 months.
If you need help getting started with the NHS app, ask reception, or the pharmacists at the practice.
If you can’t see a medication you need on the NHS app, it may be because it wasn’t prescribed for long term use (as acute rather than repeat). Medications which haven’t been requested in a long time also are automatically moved to “past”. We may be able to rectify. Also “batch” /RDS medications shouldn’t be rerequested through the practice until the batch has been completed at your pharmacy.
You can change your preferred chemist on the NHS app, eg to one close to work, or at a temporary address. Almost all our prescriptions are sent electronically.
Please allow at least 2 working days for your request to be authorised, as GPs have other competing work and sometimes an extra check may be needed (such as monitoring blood test)
According to national guidance , we cannot prescribe some items which are readily available over the counter, such as hayfever remedies. Talk to our pharmacist or local pharmacist , or consider low-cost generic items. We appreciate times are hard, and it is worth shopping around.
Please let us know the nature of your problem, whether new or ongoing, and your expectations/ concerns. This helps us to prioritise and get you the right help. Not everything needs a doctor’s appointment or call. BMA recommends 25 patient contacts per day for safe practice; currently 60-90 is not unusual. For clinical safety, and due to exceptional winter pressures, we are now limiting the daily number of online enquiries to which we can respond. The portal is open from 8am daily; we now need to close to enquiries when the daily limit is reached.
We have 5 nurses, 3 health care assistants, 2 pharmacists, a community physiotherapist and mental health practitioner working with us. Appointments with these experienced staff are directly bookable through reception. GP appointments will be offered if needed. We recommend following up with your usual GP for ongoing problems. Please be aware there is a national crisis in GP staffing. Thankfully we have a great team of regular GPs and trusted locums, and are active in seeking extra help when needed to ensure sufficient numbers.
For skin problems, please attach an image to your enquiry, as this is the most efficient way to suggest a diagnosis and treatment: for you, for us, and for the dermatologists. In most cases we do not need to see you in person. For other problems we will reach a common sense agreement about whether face to face or telephone appointment works best, bearing in mind your preference. If an urgent same day examination is needed, we are likely to invite you at end of morning or end of afternoon. Please keep your preferred telephone close so we can contact you.