NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched the ‘Being a Hoarder is Out of Order’ campaign at the start of October, with the aim of tackling the growing issue of medicines waste, which costs the local NHS in West Lancashire £600,000 per year.
To tackle this issue, from the start of November, GP practices in West Lancashire will now only accept repeat prescriptions from patients and carers (apart from in exceptional circumstances by arrangement).
There are currently a number of ways with which patients and carers can order a repeat prescription. These include, handing in the white tear off part of a prescription, a request slip which is located in the reception area at GP practices, via fax (although this can vary depending on practice) and now, the local NHS is encouraging all residents to use the new Patient Access website and smartphone app.
Patient Access is a FREE online resource available for all residents, it allows you to not only easily order repeat prescriptions from the convenience of a smartphone, tablet or laptop, but also offers a GP appointment booking service and update personal records. Any residents wanting to use Patient Access, are encouraged to visit their local surgery in the first instance, who will then give residents a unique code, which once activated allows full use of the Patient Access services.
Dr Peter Gregory, a GP at Parkgate Surgery in Ormskirk and GP executive lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:
“There is a very real danger that under the current system, medicines are being ordered for patients who no longer require them.
“This not only wastes valuable NHS funds, which could be diverted into other services, but also poses a genuine health risk to our patients, if they are taking medicine that they no longer need, or if the medicine gets into the wrong hands.
“The CCG has been working with pharmacists, GPs and affected patients to explain to them, what is changing, why and how we can all work together to address this growing issue.
“By ordering their own repeat prescriptions, this will significantly reduce the risk of patients ordering and taking medication that they do not need.”
Full information on the campaign, including frequently asked questions, a detailed patients leaflet and a feedback survey are available on the NHS West Lancashire CCG website: https://www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/. If any residents have any questions or concerns, they are encouraged to speak to their local GP practice.