Richmondshire patients are being encouraged to order prescriptions online, via a mobile phone, tablet or computer to reduce wastage and help manage their medication supply.
NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which funds NHS services in the area says that currently, a significant portion of repeat prescriptions are ordered when the patient collects the current month’s supply.
Dr Mark Hodgson, Richmondshire GP and CCG Governing Body member said: “Some examples have even shown that the items aren’t being checked properly; instead, simply ‘all medications’ are being ordered.
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“Ordering processes such as this contribute to medication waste and stockpiling which costs the local NHS up to £1 million a year. This process can also result in medication errors.
“One way in which we believe this can be overcome is by encouraging patients to use the free online ordering system which links directly with their GP practice. We understand that this may not be practical for all patients but many patients could manage this very effectively.
“Ordering prescriptions online would enable patients to order their medications themselves with their remaining supplies in front of them. It’s also more convenient and a swifter process than paper slips, as well as reducing footfall in GP practices or pharmacies. There are also additional benefits, such as allowing patients to book and cancel appointments online any time day or night.”
For patients who may not have access to the internet or need more support, there will still be staff available. With an increase in ordering online, it is anticipated that pharmacy and dispensary staff will be able to give more support to those patients who require extra help. Patients can also give permission to relatives or carers to access the online service on their behalf.
To register online, patients need to visit their GP surgery with identification and be asked to complete a short form. The surgery will the give patients a letter with a unique username and password to access the online service.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/GPonlineservices