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Repeat prescription 'coordinators' reduce medicine waste for GP practices

A new dedicated phone-in repeat prescription service for patients of GP practices in Wiltshire is reducing medicine waste, a CCG has claimed.

A new dedicated phone-in repeat prescription service for patients of GP practices in Wiltshire is reducing medicine waste, a CCG has claimed.

The Prescription Order Direct (POD), is run by a team of prescription coordinators supported by pharmacists who handle medicine advice and complex queries.

It allows patients to order their prescriptions over the phone and, once prescriptions have been authorised by a doctor, they are sent to the patient’s usual pharmacy.

Patients speak directly to a prescription coordinator, who can confirm when the prescription is due and to answer any questions about the medication. Pharmacists are also available to answer any patient queries.

NHS Wiltshire CCG has so far rolled out the service to five GP practices, covering a population of 78,000, and is planning to expand it to the rest of the county.

The prescription service, which has run for around 12 weeks, has taken more than 7,000 calls from patients and ordered 18,000 prescription items.

The CCG’s deputy head of medicines management, Alex Goddard, said it had already led to a reduction in medicine waste locally.

She said: 'By introducing this new ordering process, we are already seeing a reduction in the amount of prescriptions that are wasted in our area, which costs the NHS £2.7million each year in Wiltshire alone.

'We’re introducing the POD to Wiltshire GP Practices on a town-by-town basis and our aim is to roll it out to all of the county’s practices over the next couple of years.'

Readers' comments (2)

  • Bornjovial

    Has the overall drug costs dropped in this area and is it sustainable over 1 year.
    Coventry had initial success, but patients adapt to the new system quickly and margin of savings drops while adding additional bureaucracy.
    Remember one expensive mistake will wipe out years of saving in medico-legal costs

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  • Save cost and add cost. the cost saving is only possible after deduction of cost of running service which includes salaries and space etc rather than spiced figures of saving only. The initial saving are easier but the long term costs have to be determined as such year on year savings are not likely or possible.

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