Prescriptions

Please order all repeat prescriptions via SystmOnline. Contact Dispensary for more information regarding this service.

Oakfields Health Group operates a 28-day prescribing policy in line with government recommendations to reduce wastage, the Dispensing team are authorised to change the prescriptions duration to 28 days supply and to synchronise patient medications.

If you are Asthmatic, please keep your reliever inhaler with you at all times, so you can use it as soon as you notice any symptoms.

For any medication or prescription queries please contact the Dispensary team between 10:00am and 3:00pm or 10:00am and 12 noon on a Thursday.

We request that children under the age of 16 years do not collect medication.

Dispensary

Oakfields Health Centre is a dispensing practice. This means that we are able to dispense medication directly to our patients who live more than 1 mile (1.6km) from a community pharmacy/chemist. Please ask at reception is you think you might be eligible and would like to know more about this service.

Queries

If you have any queries regarding your medication or prescriptions please contact the dispensary. Please note that the Dispensary is closed every day between 12.00 noon to 2:00pm and Dispensary phone lines are only available Monday to Friday between the times of 10:00am to 3:00pm, and 10:00am to 12:00 noon on a Thursday.

Dosette Boxes

We can arrange for weekly dosette boxes to be made up for patients who have difficulty managing medication. Please ask the dispensary manager for more information.

Delivery Service

The practice operates a delivery service for dispensing patients who are housebound and unable to collect their medicines from the surgery.  Please ask the dispensing team for more information.

New prescriptions

If the doctor or specialist nurse gives you a prescription during your consultation and you are registered as a dispensing patient, please take your prescription straight to the dispensary, where it will be filled for you. In the unlikely event that the dispensary does not have the item in stock the dispenser will advise you when to return for collection.

If you are not a dispensing patient your prescription will be sent electronically to your nominated pharmacy. Please note that non-dispensing patients will need to nominate a pharmacy for prescriptions.

Ordering repeat prescriptions

The easiest ways to order repeat prescriptions are:

These accounts show you all your repeat medicine and dosage and you can choose the ones you need.

You can also:

  • fill out a repeat prescriptions request form
  • bring the paper form to the surgery, during opening hours .Leaving your repeat request tear off slip, with the items you require marked, in the special prescription boxes by the main entrances.

We do not take repeat prescription requests over the phone or email.

Request prescription using GP online system

Manage repeat prescriptions via our online service. Log in and select an option.

Not registered for Online Services yet? Request medication online without a log in with the Prescription Request Form.

Collecting your medication – dispensing patients

If we are able to dispense your repeat medication, we ask that you allow at least 72 hours (3 working days) before collection and call in before 12:00 noon or after 3:00pm. Please allow extra time for weekends and bank holidays. We request that children under the age of 16 years do not collect medication.

Patients who are exempt from payment need to show evidence of exemption when they collect their medicines.

Collecting your repeat prescription – non dispensing patients at Oakfields Health Centre

Please allow 72 hours (3 full working days) before collecting your prescription from the dispensary. Please allow extra time for weekends and bank holidays.

Unfortunately, if you are not registered as a dispensing patient, i.e. you live within 1 mile of a pharmacy (this includes patients who live in Chopwell, Blackhall Mill and Consett), we are not allowed to dispense to you.

If you are a non-dispensing patient on regular repeat medications you may ask a pharmacy of your choice to hold up to one year’s prescriptions for you and dispense them monthly. This means you will not have to contact the Practice each time you want repeat medications. Please ask your doctor, nurse or the dispensing team for details of the “repeat dispensing scheme.”

Alternatively you can choose to nominate a pharmacy and we will arrange to send your prescriptions electronically. Please contact the dispensary if you would like to be set up for the electronic prescription service.

You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time:

  • on the app or website where you order repeat prescriptions
  • at your GP practice
  • at any pharmacy that accepts repeat prescriptions.

Collecting your repeat prescription at Dipton Surgery

We would recommend ordering items at least 48 working hours in advance (2 full working days) and additional time for your pharmacy to prepare your prescription and ensure they have medications in stock. Please allow extra time for weekends and bank holidays.

Questions about your prescription

If you have questions about your medicine, your local pharmacists can answer these. They can also answer questions on medicines you can buy without a prescription.

The NHS website has information on how your medicine works, how and when to take it, possible side effects and answers to your common questions.

If you have a repeat prescription, we may ask you to come in for a regular review. We will be in touch with you when you need to come in for this review.

Take it to the pharmacy you got it from or bring it in to the surgery. Do not put it in your household bin or flush it down the toilet.

If you are going abroad for less than three months your GP will usually be willing to prescribe up to a maximum of three months’ supply of your regular medicines. However, please be aware that if a medicine requires frequent monitoring or your clinical condition is not stable, it may not be appropriate for the GP to prescribe for such an extended period.

If you are going abroad for more than 3 months then all you are entitled to at NHS expense is a sufficient supply of your regular medication to get to the destination and find an alternative supply of that medication. As per practice policy this will be 1 months supply of medication.

About pharmacists

As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer advice on minor illnesses such as:

  • coughs
  • colds
  • sore throats
  • tummy trouble
  • aches and pains

They can also advise on medicine that you can buy without a prescription.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation. You can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.


Further prescribing information and guidance
Antibiotics

Each year 25% of the population visit their GP for a respiratory tract infection (eg sinus, throat or chest infection). These are usually caused by viruses.

For patients who are otherwise healthy, antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections.

These infections will normally clear up by looking after yourself at home with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.

Ear infections typically last 4 days

89% of cases clear up on their own

A sore throat typically lasts 7 days

40% of cases clear up after 3 days and 90% after 7 days without antibiotics

Sinusitis typically lasts 17 days

80% clear up in 14 days without antibiotics

Cough/bronchitis typically lasts 21 days

Antibiotics reduce symptoms by only 1 day

Antibiotics only work for infections caused by bacteria.

Taking unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections should be avoided because they may not be effective next time you have a bacterial infection.

Community Pharmacy Emergency Supply Service 

In an emergency, when the surgery is closed, a pharmacist can supply repeat medications without a prescription if the pharmacist deems that there is an immediate need for the medicine.  

Generic named drugs

In accordance with NHS recommendations most prescriptions will have the generic name rather than the brand name. The effectiveness and safety of the generic preparation is identical to that of the brand name. If you are at all uncertain please check with us.

A generic drug or other product is one that does not have a trademark and that is known by a general name, rather than the manufacturer’s name.

Going Abroad?

If you are concerned about taking medication abroad you can visit your local community pharmacy who are well placed to provide the information that is needed, and can also advise on a wide range of travel-related health issues.

Hospital and Community Requests

When you are discharged from Hospital you should normally receive seven days supply of medication.

On receipt of your discharge medication, which will be issued to you by the Hospital, please contact the Surgery to provide them with this information before your supply of medication has run out.

Hospital requests for change of medication will be checked by a prescribing clinician first, and if necessary a prescribing clinician will provide you with a prescription on request. 

Information for patients requesting diazepam for a fear of flying

The Doctors have taken the decision not to prescribe diazepam in cases where the there is a fear of flying. There are a number of reasons for this that are set out below.

1) Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.

2) Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than 4 hours. 3) Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number of people experience the opposite effect and may become aggressive. Benzodiazepines can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.

4) According to the national prescribing guidelines that doctors follow (the British National Formulary, or BNF) benzodiazepines are not allowed to be prescribed in cases of phobia. Thus your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk by prescribing diazepam for fear of flying as it is going against these guidelines. Benzodiazepines are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.

5) Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.

6) Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.

We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines. We have listed a number of these below.

Easy Jet – Tel 0203 8131644
Fearless Flyer EasyJet

British Airways – Tel 01252 793250
Flying with confidence

Virgin – Tel 01423 714900
Flying without fear

Medicines requested by Hospital Specialists

Specialists will often suggest particular medication at a hospital appointment and ask us to prescribe for you. To ensure your safety we do need to receive written information from the specialist before prescribing. Sometimes a medicine is suggested that is not in our local formulary. There is nearly always a close alternative, and specialists are told that we sometimes make suitable substitutions when you are referred. We will always let you know if this is the case.

Non-repeat items (acute requests)

Non-repeat prescriptions, known as ‘acute’ prescriptions are medicines that have been issued by the Doctor but not added to your repeat prescription records. This is normally a new medication issued for a trial period, and may require a review visit with your Doctor prior to the medication being added onto your repeat prescription records.

Some medications are recorded as acute as they require to be closely monitored by the Doctor. Examples include many anti-depressants, drugs of potential abuse or where the prescribing is subject to legal or clinical restrictions or special criteria. If this is the case with your medicine, you may not always be issued with a repeat prescription until you have consulted with your Doctor again.

Over the Counter Medicines

A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.

Prescribing over-the-counter medicines in nurseries and schools

GPs are often asked to prescribe over-the-counter medication to satisfy nurseries and schools. This is a misuse of GP time, and is not necessary.

Private Prescriptions

A GP in the surgery can only provide a private prescription if the medication is not available on the NHS.

A private prescription is not written on an official NHS prescription and so is not paid for by the NHS. A prescription is a legal document for which the doctor, who has issued and signed it, is responsible. A doctor you see privately is unable to issue an NHS prescription.

The cost of a private prescription is met wholly by the patient and is dictated by the cost of the medicine plus the pharmacists charge for supplying it.

When on holiday in the UK or living temporary outside the Practice area

If you are staying outside the practice area for holidays, work etc. we are unable to send prescriptions by post/email/fax. You should register with a practice as a temporary resident and request the medication. The Practice will contact us to confirm what medication you are currently being prescribed. Alternatively depending on your location some pharmacies may be able to provide the medication for you.

Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP)

STOMP stands for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines. It is a national project involving many different organisations which are helping to stop the over use of these medicines.  STOMP is about helping people to stay well and have a good quality of life.

Your Home Medicine Cupboard

It is well worth keeping a small stock of useful medicines at home in your (locked) first aid cupboard. For instance, pain killers (analgesics) such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or aspirin (children under 16 and people with asthma should not take aspirin), or Ibuprofen syrups  for children, Mild laxatives, Anti-diarrhoeal medicines, Indigestion remedy (for example, antacids) Travel sickness tablets, and Sunscreen – SPF15 or higher Sunburn treatment (for example, calamine).