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Repeat Prescriptions

NHS St Helens needs your help!

You will have heard on the news that the NHS needs to make savings of £15-20 billion over the next 3 years (this is about 17% of the total NHS budget). Locally NHS  St Helens needs to save £24 million over the next 12 months.

Medicines Changes
We know some of these savings can come from prescribing without affecting patient care. Therefore your regular medication may be switched to a different product which will have exactly the same effect but will cost the NHS less. We will give you information about any changes. If you have any concerns please discuss with your GP, practice nurse or chemist.

Medicines Waste
Each year NHS St Helens spends around £60 million on medicines. However we know that at least £1.5 million worth of medicines each year are returned to chemists unused. These medicines cannot be re-used and are destroyed. Please ONLY order medication that you need and do not stockpile your medicines at home.  Furthermore, stockpiling medication is unwise as many medicines have a short shelf life and the doctor may change your prescription to a different drug.

If there are medicines on your list that you no longer take please inform you doctor, practice nurse or chemist. Thank you.

For safety reasons we do not take requests for repeat prescriptions over the telephone.

blue_yellowRepeat Dispensing

It is now possible to obtain your repeat medicines without having to see the doctor for a prescription each time. 

The service, known as repeat dispensing, is ideal for those whose medication is generally stable and is proving very popular with our patients. 

If you would like to learn more about Repeat Dispensing or apply to join the scheme, please ask at reception.

Wherever possible you should use the re-order slip attached to your prescription to order your next prescription. You can request a print out of your re-order slip from the receptionist at any time.


Here are the ways you can re-order your repeat medication:

  • Securely Online
    You can order your repeat prescription via Patient Access.
    Click here to access this facility.
  • In person
    You can drop your request off in person at any time when the surgery is open.
    Alternatively, you can put your request into the post box which is located near the entrance door to the surgery. We empty the post box daily.
  • Post
    You may post your request (if you enclose a reply paid envelope we will mail your prescription back to you).
  • Fax
    Please fax your requests to 01942 713432. Please note that we cannot fax prescriptions back.


You can leave your prescription request at Garswood Pharmacy. The pharmacy staff come to the surgery several times a day and will bring your prescription request with them and leave it at the surgery to be processed. We will send your prescription back to the pharmacy for you to collect if you indicate that this is your preference on the re-order slip. 

Please note: if you prefer to leave/collect your prescription at Garswood Pharmacy you are under no obligation to have it dispensed there and can take it to a pharmacy of your choice.

Understanding your medicines

It is not possible for us to consider all possible side-effects of your medication during normal consultations. We therefore recommend that you read the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) enclosed with any medicines prescribed by the NHS.

According to the MHRA (Medicine’s and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency), “Self-care, a key government objective, relies heavily on patients having sufficient high quality information on which to base their decision-making”. The PIL is intended to provide uniform, objective and up to date information to which you can refer to at all times in order to help you to participate fully in concordant decision-making about medicines prescribed, or recommended, by healthcare professionals.

They should be read regularly to check for any changes as the pharmaceutical companies do update PILs from time to time as knowledge develops.

Please discuss any matters that may arise with your pharmacist in the first instance.

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