In May 2018, some significant changes to the way that patients can request medication from the Practice over the telephone or via a community Pharmacy were made. Unused medications cost the NHS between £4million and £6million per year across North Warwickshire alone. This new service, known as Prescription Ordering Direct (or POD), gives patients control and responsibility of ordering the medications they need. This will save the NHS money, to spend on other important services.

Rather than calling the surgery, patients will now need to call the POD team on 02476 246025*. The POD service is provided by NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (WNCCG). The call you make will be handled by a dedicated, experienced and fully trained call handler, who will request your consent for them to access your medical record, to process your medication request (patients that do not consent to this, will need to order their medication via one of our alternative channels – please see the ‘Repeat Prescriptions’ page of our website, for more information). The call handler will only access the parts of your medical record that is relevant to your request and this access is fully auditable for the purpose of data protection, security and confidentiality. The call handler will also take the time to answer any queries that you may have with regards to your medication (to the best of their abilities) and can also alert you if a medication review or blood test etc. is required. If you would like someone (e.g. a friend or relative) to order on your behalf, you will need to provide verbal consent to the POD team, the first time you order through the POD service to allow this to take place in the future. If you are unable to order through the POD yourself, and there is no-one able to do it on your behalf, a local community Pharmacy will be able to order for you – please speak to your GP if you require a Pharmacy to do this**.

The POD team will ask you to choose a local community Pharmacy for your prescription to be sent electronically to, using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) – please see our website for more information on the EPS. Your medication request will be processed as normal by your GP and the prescription will be ready to collect from your chosen Pharmacy, in two working days, as is currently the case (it may take the Pharmacy longer than two days to prepare your medication, however this is something that should be taken up with your chosen Pharmacy as the Practice is only committed to providing the prescription within two working days of the request, not the medication itself). If you have an existing arrangement with a pharmacy to deliver your medication, please speak with them, to ensure this will continue. Patients that wish to collect their prescription in paper format, will still be able to do this but we encourage patients to use the EPS as it saves having to make a trip to both the surgery (to collect the prescription) and the chemist (to have the medication prescribed made up).

*Lines are open between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

**Please note this is not an ‘optional’ service. Community Pharmacies are only able to order for patients deemed as ‘exempt from using the POD service’ by the GP. Patients wishing for the Pharmacy to order for them for convenience purposes will be unable to do this – as mentioned above, the rationale for the implementation of this service is to give patients control over what medication is ordered with the hope of reducing the chronic medication over-ordering and wastage problems in the North Warwickshire locality.

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