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Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) & Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
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Prescription Ordering Direct & Electronic Prescription Service

Where is POD and how do I contact them?  The POD team is located at Heron House, Nuneaton.  Call NHS Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) on 024 7624 6025 between 8am and 5pm, Mon-Fri

What happens when I call the POD team? 

A dedicated call-handler will answer your call, ask you to confirm which surgery you are registered with, and then confirm your name, date of birth and address. Your medical record will be accessed, and the call-handler will ask you to confirm which medications you would like to order. We will not accept ‘all of them’ or ‘everything’; we will need you to confirm each item separately. This is so that we can be sure that we are only ordering the items that you need. 

You may be asked to confirm how much medication you have left in your possession, and what dosage you currently take. You should always check your medication cupboard before ordering, and re-order when you have 7 days left. Please do not order ‘just in case’. If you need medications in the future you will be able to request them.  If you find that you have a build-up or excess of a medication, please let us know; we can adjust the quantities so that everything falls in line and you do not need to make several calls to order.

You may be asked to confirm if you have stopped taking any medications that are on your repeat list, and we can remove these for you so that they aren’t ordered in error in the future. We will confirm that we have ordered the correct number of items for you, and which pharmacy you would like them to be sent to. The request is then sent instantly via EPS (See What is EPS? below) to your GP who require 48 hours to authorise, then send to your nominated pharmacy to be dispensed. We cannot advise how long your chosen pharmacy will take to dispense your prescription. If you have an existing arrangement with your pharmacy for your medications to be delivered, please contact them to ensure that this will continue. 

If there are any queries or we are requesting an item that has expired from your repeat list, the GP may need extra time to review your medical history. 

There are certain circumstances where we will not be able to process your request and you will need to contact your surgery directly. We will always inform you if this situation arises.

What POD CANNOT do

  • Process requests for dossette trays/MOS systems - these will need to be ordered through vour usual pharmacy.
  • Routinely provide clinical advice, although clinical staff (Pharmacists or Pharmacy Technicians) may suggest opportunistic switches or highlight concerns.
  • Add medications or change doses following discharge from hospital or consultant recommendation
  • Take prescription requests from Care/Nursing/Residential Homes - these need to be ordered directly through the practice.
  • Process requests for oral contraceptive pills
  • Change any of your personal details (address, surname etc)
  • Issue medications early 'just in-case'
  • Make any appointments for vou with the practice
  • Routinely access patient records for unnecessary reasons
  • Organise delivery of medications through a community pharmacy
  • Alter doses of medications following discharge from hospital - we will task the GP to do this
  • Add medications or change doses of medications at the patient's request.

What is EPS?

         The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) sends electronic prescriptions from GP surgeries to pharmacies. Eventually EPS will remove the need for most paper prescriptions. EPS allows prescribers to send prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy of the patient's choice. This makes the prescribing and dispensing process more efficient and convenient for patients and staff.

·         The benefits of EPS include:

  • prescribers can process prescriptions more efficiently and spend less time dealing with prescription queries
  • dispensers can reduce use of paper, have improved stock control, and provide a more efficient service to patients
  • patients can collect repeat prescriptions from a pharmacy without visiting their GP, and won't have a paper prescription to lose
  • Prescriptions can be tracked, to see where they are (waiting for authorisation from the GP, waiting to be dispensed at the pharmacy, or completed). 

Can a representative (spouse, parent, carer etc) order my medication for me?

Yes – as long as they have all the relevant personal details that we require, and are able to answer questions about your existing medication balances. It is imperative that we protect your confidentiality so we cannot disclose any of your medical information to them. 

I am going on holiday/leaving the country/working away etc and I need an extra supply. Can I order more medication?

The POD team are able to request an extra month’s supply of medication when there are extenuating circumstances which mean that you will be unable to order/collect your prescription.   Requesting a prescription does not guarantee that the GP will authorise it – if you have any problems when you collect your prescription you should contact your surgery directly. We can also send your electronic prescription to any registered pharmacy in England to be dispensed if you need us to.

What is the difference between an acute prescription item and a repeat prescription item?

An acute prescription item is a medication that you should only need one issue, or a short course of. An example would be a short course of antibiotics, which you would take for 7 days, and then the course is finished. You would not need to order them again. A repeat prescription item is a regular medication that you will continue to take for an extended period of time, possibly for the rest of your life. You will have it on your ‘repeat list’ so that you can re-order it.  Repeat medications have to be reviewed every so often, so sometimes we need to check with your GP before they can be issued to you. This shouldn’t cause you a delay in receiving your medication, but it may mean that you are called into the practice for a medication review.

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