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New prescription ordering service

A new prescription ordering service run by Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) means local patients can order repeat prescriptions over the phone from the comfort of their own home and then collect them from a UK pharmacy of their choice.

Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) is run by a dedicated team of trained prescription coordinators, supported by experienced pharmacists who are on hand for medicines advice and complex queries.

The Wiltshire-based telephone team is currently available for five of Wiltshire’s GP practices covering a population of 78,000 – with plans to roll the service out across the county.  In Melksham, the scheme is now available at Giffords Surgery.

Alex Goddard, deputy head of medicines management at Wiltshire CCG, explains, “We’ve had the POD up and running for 12 weeks and during that time have taken more than 7,000 calls from patients and ordered 18,000 prescription items – it’s been very busy!

“We’re introducing the POD to Wiltshire GP practices on a town-by-town basis and our aim is to roll it out to all of the county’s practices over the next couple of years.”

Prescription Ordering Direct is currently available for patients at Giffords Surgery, Melksham. The POD is open Monday – Friday (except on Bank Holidays) from 9am – 5pm. Patients do not need to register for the service and should call when they have seven days left of their medication.

Alex continues. “Once authorised by the doctor, prescriptions will be sent to the patient’s usual pharmacy where any existing arrangements with regards to notifications via text message, or delivery will continue as before.  When patients call the POD they speak directly and confidentially with a prescription coordinator who confirms the prescription is due and can answer any questions the patient has about their medication. There is always the opportunity for the patient to speak to a pharmacist as well, if needed. This ensures we are able to order only the necessary medication that is required. By introducing this new ordering process, we are already seeing a reduction in the amount of prescriptions that are wasted in our area, which costs the NHS £2.7million each year in Wiltshire alone.”

For more information visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk.