Help from your pharmacy
Did you know that your local pharmacy can help you with a lot of minor ailments?
Ordering repeat prescriptions
- fill out a repeat prescriptions request form
- use the practice post box by providing a hand written list of items, including your name and date of birth, during opening hours
- email the practice
- hand your prescription list in to the pharmacy of your choice
Please Note: we do not take repeat prescription requests over the phone.
Collecting your prescription
Repeat prescriptions are only given after they are agreed with the doctor and entered onto your repeat record. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice (2 full working days) is required for processing a prescription. Please allow extra time for weekends and public holidays.
You can usually collect your prescription from the pharmacy 5 working days after you have ordered it.
You will need to choose a pharmacy to collect your prescription from. We call this nominating a pharmacy.
You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time at any pharmacy that accepts repeat prescriptions.
Questions about your prescription
If you have questions about your medicine, your local pharmacists can answer these. They can also answer questions on medicines you can buy without a prescription.
The NHS UK website has information on how your medicine works, how and when to take it, possible side effects and answers to your common questions.
If you have a repeat prescription, we may ask you to come in for a regular review. We will be in touch when you need to come in for a review.
What to do with old medicines
Take it to the pharmacy you got it from or bring it in to the surgery. Do not put it in your household bin or flush it down the toilet.
As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer advice on minor illnesses such as:
- sore throats
- tummy trouble
- aches and pains
They can also advise on medicine that you can buy without a prescription.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Order repeat prescriptions, and learn how pharmacists can help you with medicines and medical advice.
Further prescribing information and guidance
Each year 25% of the population visit their GP for a respiratory tract infection (eg sinus, throat or chest infection). These are usually caused by viruses.
For patients who are otherwise healthy, antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections.
These infections will normally clear up by looking after yourself at home with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.
Ear infections typically last 4 days
89% of cases clear up on their own
A sore throat typically lasts 7 days
40% of cases clear up after 3 days and 90% after 7 days without antibiotics
Sinusitis typically lasts 17 days
80% clear up in 14 days without antibiotics
Cough/bronchitis typically lasts 21 days
Antibiotics reduce symptoms by only 1 day
Antibiotics only work for infections caused by bacteria.
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections should be avoided because they may not be effective next time you have a bacterial infection.
Generic named drugs
In accordance with NHS recommendations most prescriptions will have the generic name rather than the brand name. The effectiveness and safety of the generic preparation is identical to that of the brand name. If you are at all uncertain please check with us.
A generic drug or other product is one that does not have a trademark and that is known by a general name, rather than the manufacturer’s name.
If you are concerned about taking medication abroad you can visit your local community pharmacy who are well placed to provide the information that is needed, and can also advise on a wide range of travel-related health issues.
Information for patients requesting diazepam for a fear of flying
The Doctors have taken the decision not to prescribe diazepam in cases where the there is a fear of flying. There are a number of reasons for this that are set out below.
1) Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.
2) Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than 4 hours. 3) Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number of people experience the opposite effect and may become aggressive. Benzodiazepines can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.
4) According to the national prescribing guidelines that doctors follow (the British National Formulary, or BNF) benzodiazepines are not allowed to be prescribed in cases of phobia. Thus your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk by prescribing diazepam for fear of flying as it is going against these guidelines. Benzodiazepines are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.
5) Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
6) Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.
We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines. We have listed a number of these below.
Easy Jet – Tel 0203 8131644
Fearless Flyer EasyJet
British Airways – Tel 01252 793250
Flying with confidence
Hospital and Community Requests
When you are discharged from Hospital you should normally receive seven days supply of medication.
On receipt of your discharge medication, which will be issued to you by the Hospital, please contact the Surgery to provide them with this information before your supply of medication has run out.
Hospital requests for change of medication will be checked by a prescribing clinician first, and if necessary a prescribing clinician will provide you with a prescription on request.
Medicines in Scotland: What’s the right treatment for me?
Medicines requested by Hospital Specialists
Specialists will often suggest particular medication at a hospital appointment and ask us to prescribe for you. To ensure your safety we do need to receive written information from the specialist before prescribing. Sometimes a medicine is suggested that is not in our local formulary. There is nearly always a close alternative, and specialists are told that we sometimes make suitable substitutions when you are referred. We will always let you know if this is the case.
Medicines, Care and Review Service
The NHS Medicines, Care and Review Service is a voluntary service for people with long-term conditions. It’s available at all community pharmacies across Scotland.
You can only use this service if you’ve registered with a community pharmacy.
Polypharmacy: Manage Medicines
You may have heard people referring to Polypharmacy. It means lots of medicines. A medicine review is particularly useful for people who take a lot of medicines; for these people their medicines review may be called a Polypharmacy Review.
A GP in the surgery can only provide a private prescription if the medication is not available on the NHS.
A private prescription is not written on an official NHS prescription and so is not paid for by the NHS. A prescription is a legal document for which the doctor, who has issued and signed it, is responsible. A doctor you see privately is unable to issue an NHS prescription.
The cost of a private prescription is met wholly by the patient and is dictated by the cost of the medicine plus the pharmacists charge for supplying it.
Non-repeat items (acute requests)
Non-repeat prescriptions, known as ‘acute’ prescriptions are medicines that have been issued by the Doctor but not added to your repeat prescription records. This is normally a new medication issued for a trial period, and may require a review visit with your Doctor prior to the medication being added onto your repeat prescription records.
Some medications are recorded as acute as they require to be closely monitored by the Doctor. Examples include many anti-depressants, drugs of potential abuse or where the prescribing is subject to legal or clinical restrictions or special criteria. If this is the case with your medicine, you may not always be issued with a repeat prescription until you have consulted with your Doctor again.
Regarding pre-operative and post-operative care from patients who are considering surgery abroad. The Scottish Government & NHS Scotland have issued the below guidance to all GP Practices in Scotland:
While the NHS in Scotland will always provide emergency care where necessary, all routine pre and post-operative care should be part of the package of care purchased by the individual patient.
- There will be no obligation on NHS Boards to provide such routine pre and post-operative care.
- In the event of a patient advising a healthcare professional of plans to travel overseas for privately arranged and purchased surgery, they should be advised firstly that this is not recommended, and secondly that there will be no obligation on their local NHS Board to provide routine pre and post-operative care. All care required should be provided within the package of care sold by the overseas provider.
Strong painkillers and driving
You may have noticed that the label on your painkiller medicine says: “May cause drowsiness. If affected do not drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcoholic drink.”
Your doctor or nurse may also have discussed side effects of your painkillers with you.
Strong painkillers (or opioids) affect each person in a different way. They can make some people drowsy and reactions can be slower than usual. This may be worse if you take other medicines that cause drowsiness or if you drink alcohol. If you are someone who drives you may be wondering if it is safe for you to drive. The following information will help you to decide.
- You must not drive if you feel sleepy
- You must not drive after drinking alcohol or taking strong drugs which have not been prescribed or recommended by your doctor for example, cannabis.
- You must not drive if you start taking other drugs that cause sleepiness, either prescribed by your doctor or bought from the chemist for example, hay fever medicine.
- You must not drive on days where you have had to take extra (breakthrough or rescue) doses of a strong painkiller.
When on holiday in UK or living temporary outside the Practice area
If you are staying outside the practice area for holidays, work etc. we are unable to send prescriptions by post/email/fax. You should register with a practice as a temporary resident and request the medication. The Practice will contact us to confirm what medication you are currently being prescribed. Alternatively depending on your location some pharmacies may be able to provide the medication for you.