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Changes to the way you can order your prescription from 1st January

If you are a patient of the Weardale Practice you will know that from 1st January 2020 you will no longer be able to order you medication over the phone.

There are a number of reasons that the practice has taken this decision:

  • When you phone to ask for medication the admin team simply see a list on the computer screen. They cannot see what colour the box of medication is or what colour or shape the tablet is and don’t always know exactly what the tablet has been prescribed for. Patients sometimes tell us that it is the “one for my head”, “the one I take on a morning “or “the yellow one”, which doesn’t help us identify which item you need.
  • Safety of medication has to be the most important consideration. Patient’s instructions can be unclear. Misinterpretation or error can occur due to the mispronunciation of drug names and frequent changes, to brands and packaging. 
  • At the moment the phone lines for repeat ordering are open 2 – 4pm and are staffed by 3 team members who constantly answer up to 25 calls per hour per person. In comparison a member of staff can process 108 electronic prescription requests in one hour.

You can order your repeat prescription in any of the following ways:

  • You can order your medication by handing in (or putting through the letter box) your prescription side slip to either Stanhope or Wolsingham chemist, both open 6 days a week, or any of the surgeries. This does not have to be done when any of these premises are open, or in person. This can be done by a relative, trusted friend or neighbour.
  • You can order your medication at any time by using the Practice’s On-line services. We do know that not everyone is able to access online services. However you can ask a family member or close friend to get proxy access for you. The representative you choose does not have to be a patient at the Practice. In addition to ordering your monthly medication, they could also make, change or cancel appointments for you. If you wish to set this up then please ring 01388 528555 and speak to a member of the team.
  • You can post your prescription request to Stanhope Health Centre, Dales Street, Stanhope, Co. Durham, DL13 2XD, allowing enough time for the practice to receive the request and order the medication. I would suggest 5 working days.
  • If you have the same medication every month you can sign up for electronic repeat dispensing. This would give you up to 12 month’s medication, dispensed on a monthly basis by the chemist. If you are interested, then you or your representative can contact the practice to assess whether you are suitable for the service. Only patients with stable health conditions can be considered.

The practice would never put a patient a risk and we understand that you may be concerned about these changes.  If you are, please contact the practice on 01388 528555.