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Closure of the POD Service Posted or Updated on 9 Jan 2024

At Springhill Medical Centre, we appreciate the concern that patients may have regarding the notification of closure of the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service at the end of March 2024 and are dismayed at the decision taken by Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board (ICB). We are working alongside the other practices in Warwickshire North on behalf of our patients to try to reduce any disruption this may cause. We will be contacting all our POD users over the next few weeks to provide further information and guidance and request you continue to use the POD until alternative arrangements are in place. Should you have further questions or complaints regarding the process then we would encourage you to contact the ICB.

More information can be found below.

Why is the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) Service closing?

NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) have taken the decision to close the POD service from Friday 29th March 2024 (Good Friday).

Repeat prescription ordering services are already provided by our individual GP practices, who are contracted to provide these services to their patients. Practices now have better pharmacist support and are better placed to provide this service, particularly given the development of more online repeat prescription services (including the NHS app).

As a result, the ICB no longer feel that a centralised POD service is required.

When will this change happen?

The POD Service will not be available to current users from Friday 29th March 2024. Patients who have not used the POD previously, can no longer start using the POD.

Patients currently using the POD will be informed by their practice of how they can order their medications in due course and are encouraged not to contact the practice about this.

Where can I get my repeat prescriptions now?

You can continue to use the POD services until it closes, but you could also consider starting to use one of the following options:

  • The NHS app or by logging into your NHS account online
  • Online via your GP practice website
  • By post, or in person at your GP practice
  • Your local pharmacy may also be able to help you in ordering your medications

Can I still order my repeat prescriptions over the phone?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept prescription requests over the phone.

I cannot use digital platforms; how can I get my repeat prescription?

As a practice, we recognise that not all our patients have access to digital services, or that some patients may choose not to access these services. We would therefore recommend you speak to your local pharmacy.

Alternatively, you can request a repeat prescription by filling in a form and handing it in to the reception team or sending this to the practice via post.

How do I use the NHS app?

You can get help with using the NHS app by looking at the help pages on the NHS website (www.nhs.uk/nhs-app/nhs-app-help-and-support).

I would like to access digital services, but I’m not sure how. What support is available?

We would recommend you visit the NHS website as above, where there is detailed support on accessing the NHS app, ordering prescriptions and more.

I have tried using the NHS app, but I can’t see the medication I want to order. What do I do?

Not all medications which have been prescribed for you will show on the NHS app. There is a number of reasons that this could be the case;

  • The GP may have issued the prescription as an acute (or one-off prescription) and may want to discuss your usage with you before issuing another prescription.
  • The medication may have been issued for a short-term condition (e.g. an infection) and therefore you would need a review before receiving more medication.
  • Your repeat prescription may have reached its maximum number of issues and therefore will require review – this can be done via the clinical pharmacists at your surgery.
  • If you have a long-term condition that requires review (e.g. asthma or diabetes), you may not be able to order your medication until you have had your review.
  • You will only be able to order repeat prescriptions issued by your GP and will not be able to order medications issued by another provider (e.g. hospital services).

If the medication you require cannot be ordered via the NHS app, please contact your GP practice for advice.

Do I need to see my doctor before getting my repeat prescription?

Your GP needs to ensure that the medications prescribed to you are safe and appropriate. They also have a duty to reduce wastage of medication.

As a result, you may be asked to have a medication review with a clinical pharmacist (these appointments are pre-bookable) to ensure your medication is still right for you.

How long will it take to process my prescription?

Please allow 7 days between requesting your repeat prescription and the date it is required.

Who can I speak to about this?

If you have any queries or complaints with regards to the closure of the POD, we recommend you contact the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board.

Please await more information from your practice regarding the POD closure and ordering of your repeat medications.

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