Prescribing Support to Practices

 1.       Prescribing Support to practices

The medicines management team are keen to offer our full support to our frontline primary care colleagues.  We understand that GP practices are likely to be placed under additional pressures as non-urgent follow up appointments and elective surgeries are now to be cancelled by most hospitals.  

Due to these extenuating circumstances we are asking all our Prescribing Support Pharmacists to utilise their allocated time to your practice, to support all reasonable requests from practices to support management of medicines.  Examples of areas that we would considered suitable include:

Support with repeat dispensing. Data shows that there are a number of practice within City and Hackney with very low uptake. These practices may benefit from additional support at this time. PSPs may also be asked to give advice on specific queries relating to repeat dispensing.

  • Assistance with telephone triage for medicines related queries.
  • PSPs will have increased capacity to facilitate general medicine related queries. We believe that there are likely to be more queries regarding interface issues, hospital only and shared care drugs.  

This is not an exclusive list and if you have ideas of alternative ways we can support you at this time, we would be keen to hear these.  Please email or call 0203 8163224

In order to manage workload and expand capacity within the team, please note that we will not be requiring practices or PSPs to continue with routine

  • QIPP work
  • Audit work or
  • any other requirements for  non-urgent CCE or QIPP patient facing work, at this time 

We are also considering the impact the self-isolation recommendations will have on our patient population who require regular medication. This is being reviewed both locally and nationally and we will keep you updated with any relevant news. This month’s prescribing newsletter has a  COVID-19 focus and we will be updating our CCG website with all relevant new information.


2.       Practices to deploy Repeat Dispensing to manage repeat prescriptions in the context of COVID-19

In the context of COVID-19, the use of electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) is recommended to enable enhanced efficiency in the Repeat Prescription process.

Practices should

  • Put all suitable patients on electronic Repeat Dispensing when their next repeat prescriptions are issued

These resources may be useful in implementing eRD more widely: 

NHS Business Services Authority

NHS England Guidance

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Wessex AHSN have worked with NHS D, BSA and CCGs to produce the handbook below which has helped local implementation.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing Handbook


3.       Do not routinely increase quantities of repeat medicines prescribed

Practices should

  • Limit prescribing of repeat medication to patients' usual supply – do not increase quantities prescribed.   Each repeat prescription should be for no longer than the patient usually has now.

​Increases to duration of prescription will lead to drug shortages.