Patient-led ordering


The way repeat prescriptions are ordered is changing. All patients (who are able to do so) are required to order prescriptions directly from the GP practice. This means that for the majority of patients, the pharmacy will no longer order prescriptions on their behalf.

Purpose of the change

This change aims to:

  • reduce medicine waste. Current arrangements mean that many medicines are routinely ordered but not needed
  • give patients better control over the ordering of their own medication
  • improve safety by avoiding stockpiling of medication and prevent medication that has been stopped from being re-ordered by mistake
  • save practice time (especially if prescriptions are ordered online) with less time spent chasing and processing prescriptions and answering the phone to queries and complaints

How can patients order their medication?

Patients can order repeat medication in one of the following ways:

  • Online via the GP practice online ordering process or the NHS App – this is the safest and easiest way
  • Via the repeat prescription box at the GP practice
  • Via post to the GP practice using the repeat prescription slip

Exceptions to the change

The exception will be patients who are unable to order their medication by any of the recommended routes, are vulnerable, and/or housebound.

GPs should work closely with pharmacies to ensure patients who require additional assistance (Assisted Patients) get special care and specific policies geared to their personal needs.

This could mean that pharmacies continue to order on behalf of some patients, where all partners agree this is the best solution for a particular individual.

When do the changes take place?

Practices will set their own date for the change in conjunction with their local community pharmacies to ensure appropriate measures are in place to manage the process.

Patients who already take their repeat prescription request slips into the GP practice or order their repeat medication online are not affected.

Support guides

To ensure consistent operating procedures across GM and to assist practices with the roll-out, Greater Manchester Primary Care Provider Board (PCB), Community Pharmacy Provider Board (CPPB) and General Practice Provider Board (GPB) have worked with NHS Greater Manchester (NHS GM) to produce the following: