Questions about our repeat prescription ordering scheme

We have put together some frequently asked questions about our Sefton wide repeat prescription ordering scheme that greatly improves patient safety and reduces the cost of unused medication in the borough.

You can find out more about the by visiting our get involved pages, including a leaflet and short survey.

What changes for patients?

It means that pharmacies cannot order repeat prescriptions on behalf of patients registered at all GP practices in Sefton. This improves medicines safety and reduces the large amount of wasted medications in Sefton, estimated to cost the local NHS at least £2 million each year.

Who does it affect?

The repeat prescription ordering scheme only affects patients registered all GP practices who have their medication ordered for them by their pharmacy or a dispensing company.   

It does not affect anyone who already orders their own repeat prescriptions directly from their practice.

How will I know if this affects me?

Those patients affected by the scheme have been sent a letter and information from their practice and the two CCGs, giving them full details of how the scheme works and what it means for them.

Which GP practices are taking part?

All Sefton GP practices are now signed up to the voluntary repeat prescription ordering scheme.

Originally 19 practices piloted the repeat prescription ordering scheme from 1 September 2016 to 28 February 2017. Due to the initial success of the pilot, 13 more practices decided to introduce the voluntary scheme from 6 March 2017 and a further 17 GP practices have now signed up to the scheme and will start this from 11 July 2017.

Repeat prescription ordering pilot sites from 1 September 2016:

  • Chapel Lane Surgery
  • The Hollies Surgery
  • The Village Surgery
  • Freshfield Surgery
  • Marshside Surgery
  • Corner Surgery
  • Ainsdale Village
  • Trinity Practice
  • Kew Surgery
  • The Grange Surgery
  • Bootle Village Surgery
  • Bridge Road Medical Centre
  • High Pastures
  • Hightown Village Surgery
  • North Park Medical Centre
  • Park Street Surgery
  • 15 Sefton Road
  • The Strand
  • Thornton Village Surgery

GP practices introducing the repeat prescription ordering scheme on 6 March 2017:

  • Blundellsands Surgery
  • Westway Medical Centre
  • Dr Judes Practice Netherton
  • Crossways Surgery
  • Crosby Village Surgery
  • Moore Street Surgery
  • Orrell Park Medical Centre
  • Rawson Rd Medical Centre
  • 42 Kingsway
  • Glovers Lane Surgery
  • The Family Surgery
  • Ainsdale Medical Centre
  • Cumberland House Surgery

GP practices introducing the repeat prescription ordering scheme on 11 July 2017:

•  Christiana Hartley Medical Practice
•  Churchtown Medical Centre
•  Lincoln House
•  Norwood Surgery
•  Roe Lane Surgery
•  St Marks Medical Centre
•  Eastview Surgery
•  Kingsway Surgery
•  Aintree Road Medical Centre
•  Maghull Family Surgery
•  Maghull Health Centre
•  Ford Medical Practice
•  Concept House Surgery
•  Drs Misra, Bird and Kassha Surgery
•  Maghull Practice
•  Litherland Practice
•  Seaforth Village Surgery

I think myself or the person I care for need help ordering in the future, what should I do?

Importantly, special arrangements will be made for vulnerable patients who are not able to order their own prescriptions directly from their GP practice once it introduces the repeat prescription ordering scheme.

Ahead of the new system going live, each participating practice looks at the differing needs of all its patients. It contacts those who may need support to order repeat medications as a result of the changes to make special arrangements for them.

You can speak to your practice if you have any concerns and they will arrange for someone to contact you to discuss any issues and provide advice.

You can also contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 218 2333 or email  

How should I order my repeat medicines in the future?

Your practice will have its own system for ordering repeat prescriptions, so if you are not sure what these are, speak to reception staff in the first instance.

However, all Sefton practices do offer online medicines ordering, so ask at your surgery how to do this. By joining your practice’s secure online system, you will also be able to book appointments. Please note that your practice may require proof of identification in order to register you.

If you do not wish to use your practice's online service, you can hand in the white tear off part of your repeat paper prescription, or speak to your practice about other ways to order your repeat prescription with them. 

Why introduce this system?

Whilst the new system may be inconvenient for some, it does address some very real medicines safety issues, at the same time as safeguarding precious NHS funds.

GP practices will be able to more safely monitor repeat prescriptions for these patients, ensuring their repeat medications remain appropriate for their individual medical conditions, which often change over time.

We know that the current system often leads to patients receiving medications they do not require, yet because their pharmacy orders their repeats for them people continue to receive excess medicines, which is a real safety issue and we need to end this. 

So, as well as introducing safer prescribing systems, the scheme will also save money, enabling more vital NHS funds to be spent on priority healthcare benefiting a greater number of Sefton residents.

How did you develop the scheme?

We based our pilot on a scheme designed by NHS Luton CCG, which was found to be successful in tackling the medicines safety issues detailed above and in reducing high levels of wasted medicines.

Sefton’s medicines management team adapted the system to fit local needs and taken account of feedback from Luton’s original scheme.

Is this just about saving money?

No, first and foremost, the scheme addresses some very real medicines safety issues. However, it will also save vital NHS funds which can be better spent on priority healthcare benefiting a greater number of Sefton residents.  

Have patients been involved in developing the pilot?

Ahead of the pilot’s launch, Sefton’s medicines management team spoke to local community and patient groups to gain views about introducing the new system for ordering repeat medications. People were also asked for views at each CCG’s Big Chat events.

You can hear what attendees thought about the pilot, along with some of the other schemes discussed at the Big Chats, by watching a short film from each event by following the links below.   

How will you know if the system is working well for patients?

We reviewed the pilot after its first three months of operation and an initial evaluation report highlights some positive results.

How can people feedback now?

Information about the pilot can be found on each CCG’s website and patients or carers affected by the pilot are invited to complete a short online survey.

Who can I contact with more queries about the pilot?

Anyone who has queries or who wants to know more should speak to their practice in the first instance or contact the PALS team on 0800 218 2333 or email