All GP practices in Sefton have now signed up to a repeat prescription ordering scheme following its success in several GP practices.
The change in the way repeat prescriptions are ordered not only improves patient’s safety but also helps to reduce the amount of wasted medicines, estimated at costing the local NHS at least £2 million each year.
NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG introduced the scheme which means that pharmacies can no longer order repeat prescriptions on behalf of patients. For the new GP practices on board this will begin from 11 July 2017.
Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management for both CCGs, said: “We initially piloted the scheme in 19 practices in September 2016 and as well as benefiting patients it saved £220,000 in 3 months.
“A further 13 GP practices joined the scheme in March this year and we’re really happy that all of our practices are now signed up as this will help us to safely monitor repeat prescriptions for those patients. It will also ensure their repeat medications remain appropriate for their individual medical needs, which often change over time.
“It is important to note for the new practices coming on board next month that the scheme does not affect anyone who already orders their own repeat prescriptions directly from their GP practice, and whilst the new system may be inconvenient for some, it does address some very real medicines safety issues as well as safeguarding precious NHS funds.”
Whilst GP practices will put special arrangements in place for those patients who would struggle to order their own repeat prescriptions directly from their GP practice, the roll out across all 49 GP practices means it will now affect just under 50% out of a total of almost 280,000 people registered at practices in Sefton.
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Southport GP, said: “We know that the previous system often led to patients receiving medications they did not require, yet because their pharmacy ordered their repeats for them, people continued to receive excess, which was a real safety issue.”
So, as well as introducing safer prescribing systems, the scheme will also save money, enabling more vital NHS funds to be spent on priority healthcare benefiting a greater number of Sefton residents.
Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We know our NHS services are operating in difficult financial times, so anything that can save resources whilst importantly improving patient safety at the same time has to be welcomed and I’d encourage residents who may experience some initial inconvenience to consider the overwhelming safety and cost benefits of this scheme.
“This is about patients, carers, practices and pharmacies working together to achieve the safest and most cost effective prescribing systems that benefit us all.
“If you are experiencing any difficulties don’t be afraid to speak to your practice or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to resolve any issues.”
The newest GP practices to join the scheme are:
- Christiana Hartley Medical Practice
- Churchtown Medical Centre
- Lincoln House
- Norwood Surgery
- Roe Lane Surgery
- St Marks Medical Centre
- Eastview Surgery
- Kingsway Surgery
- Aintree Road Medical Centre
- Maghull Family Surgery
- Maghull Health Centre
- Ford Medical Practice
- Concept House Surgery
- Drs Misra, Bird and Kassha Surgery
- Maghull Practice
- Litherland Practice
- Seaforth Village Surgery
Patients new to the scheme will be invited to give their views and experiences as part of the evaluation of the system.
Anyone wanting to give their views about the scheme can complete a short survey, which can be found on each CCG’s website, along with more information and videos about the project by clicking here.
Those patients affected by the scheme have been sent a letter and a leaflet from their practice and the two CCGs, giving them full details of how the scheme works and what it means for them. Anyone who has queries or who wants to know more can contact the PALS team on 0800 218 2333 or email MLCSU.PALS@nhs.net