Supporting the move towards patient-led ordering


Patient-led ordering support guides and survey to help practices.

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and community pharmacies are being supported to adopt the new patient-led ordering procedure with a series of guides.

The PCB, Community Pharmacy Provider Board (CPPB) and General Practice Provider Board (GPB) have been working with NHS GM to develop consistent GM standard operating procedures, an activity planner to help with the roll-out, and a communications toolkit including key messages and social media assets to inform patients of the changes.

PCN clinical directors and lead pharmacists should have received an email sent on behalf of Luvjit Kandula, Chair of Greater Manchester Primary Care Provider Board, and Stephanie Fernley, Assistant Director of Primary Care Development at NHS Greater Manchester, explaining the guides and inviting them to take part in a survey.

The survey aims to understand where everyone is in the process of introducing the new procedure and closes on Wednesday, 3 July.

The date when changes come into effect will vary according to each practice, and they should inform patients at least 12 weeks in advance by text, email or letter.

The changes mean that all patients who can do so will be able to request their medication directly from their GP practice instead of their local pharmacy doing it on their behalf.

Ordering online is the safest and easiest way to order regular medication, and this can be done via the NHS App or online via their GP practice.

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

GPs will 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.

This new GM approach 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 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

The patient-led ordering support guides are available on the general practice section of the PCB website.