Prescriptions Information

Repeat prescriptions are medications which appear on the right hand side of your prescription, which your treating clinicians would like you to continue on a regular basis.

How to request a Repeat Prescription

Repeat prescriptions may be ordered in several ways:


We encourage all our patients to use their NHS account – this will have all details of your repeat medication and when they are due to be repeated. You can access this via an app, your PC or your tablet.

This is the quickest and safest way to request your medication. The surgery will give you a log in and password to access this, please ring or visit us to organise this.

By Post

Post us the right hand side of your previous prescription with the list of your repeat medications and tick only the items you require. If you do not have the right hand side, write to us ensuring you include your full name and date of birth and clearly state which medications you are requesting. Make sure you take into account how long the post can take to get to us when ordering via post.

At Reception

Hand in the right hand side of your previous prescription with the list of your repeat medications and tick only the items you require. If you do not have the right hand side, provide a note/letter ensuring you include your full name and date of birth and clearly state which medications you are requesting.

We are no longer able to accept requests from the pharmacy on behalf of patients.

Exceptions may apply, speak to a doctor at your next consultation

Emergency Prescription Requests

Emergency prescription requests are for medication which you have run out of and need, to prevent you becoming severely unwell. Emergency medications include; antiepileptic medication, insulin, inhalers and adrenaline pens for anaphylaxis. Please see the list below.

The following medication may be issued on an urgent same-day basis

These are medications that the patient could cause harm within 2 working days by missing doses

All insulin


Anticipatory drugs
















Epi pens





Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) spray




Isosorbide dinitrate

Isosorbide mononitrate















Propranolol (not for anxiety)






Sharps bins



Test strips





Water for injection

Emergency prescription requests cannot be used for medication which has been ordered late. You should allow 3 working days for routine repeat prescription requests. Please respect our staff, as it is your responsibility to ensure that your repeat prescription request is ordered in plenty of time.

Urgent Prescription Requests

Due to the increasing numbers of patients requesting their prescription on an urgent basis, the practice has needed to instate an Urgent Prescription Policy.

Requests for prescriptions outside the normal prescription protocol impacts significantly on both doctors and administration staff time as well as increasing the risk of a medication prescribing error.

Unless a medication is clinically urgent, requests will be processed routinely (over 3 working days).

As a surgery, we require a minimum of 3 working days to process a patients request for medication routinely.

This policy is put in place to protect our patients and our staff, and we will not tolerate any abuse to or of our staff as they are following policy.

Please respect our staff

Our reception and administrative staff are to always follow this policy and they are not authorised to make any exceptions. Staff are not allowed to interrupt the duty GP during surgery.

Many medications can safely be missed for a few days

Urgent prescription requests are requests for emergency medication which are needed within 24 hours to prevent the patient from becoming seriously ill.

Urgent prescription requests are not requests for medication which have been ordered late as it is the patient’s responsibility to ensure that repeat prescription requests are ordered in time.

This will ensure safe prescribing and optimise access to the clinical team.

If you forget to obtain a prescription for repeat medication and run out of important medicines, you may be able to get help from your Pharmacy.

Under the Urgent Provision of Repeat Medication Service, Pharmacists may be able to supply you with a further cycle of a previously repeated medicine, without having to get a prescription from your GP.

If you have run out of important medication, telephone your usual Pharmacy to check that they offer this service; if they don’t, they may either direct you to another Pharmacy who does provide it, or ask you to phone 111 where you can request details of a local Pharmacy that provides the service.

Controlled drugs and antibiotics are not provided through this service, you will need to ring 111 for these.

You must then take with you to the relevant Pharmacy, proof of both your identification and of your medication (for example, your repeat prescription list or the empty box which should have your details printed on it). 

Hospital Prescriptions

  • When you are seen at the hospital and are given a hospital prescription, you should not leave the hospital without attending the hospital pharmacy to collect the medication.
  • A hospital prescription is not valid in community pharmacies.
  • Do not bring to the surgery and expect us to convert to a practice prescription – some hospital medications are not licensed to be prescribed in general practice. We may be able to convert some but they will be done via the 3 day repeat prescription process.

Private Prescriptions

Please do not bring these to the surgery to convert to NHS prescriptions. You will need to take to a local pharmacy and pay for the prescribed items directly to them.

A GP in the surgery at which you are registered 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.

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. A prescription is a legal document for which the doctor, who has issued and signed it, is responsible. A doctor you see privately can’t issue an NHS prescription.

Holiday Medication

  • Holidays are normally booked weeks or months in advance, therefore when preparing for your holiday, please remember to process a request for your routine medication allowing the normal 3 working days for processing.
  • We can only provide a maximum of 2 months medication and we may request a patient to provide documents to support this request. If you are going to be away for longer than 2 months you will need to make arrangements to get your medication from a healthcare provider at your destination. We are unable to provide emergency prescriptions for holiday medication.

New Patient Prescriptions

We recommend that you get a good supply of your regular medication from your previous GP before registering with us.

If you normally take regular repeat medication please let us know by:

  • Giving us a copy of your repeat prescription slip.
  • Give us a copy of your medication label on your medication box or bottle which has your name, medication dosage and date.

We will check your medication list and put them on the repeats list but we recommend you make an appointment with the Doctor or Pharmacist to have a medication review within the first month of registering with the surgery. It can take a couple of weeks for your previous records to be delivered to us from your last GP surgery.  If you need medication before that, you can bring in your repeat slip and request your medication. Your doctor might need to contact you about your medication request. Please allow up to 2 working days for a prescription request.

Prescriptions Information

Why does it take 3 working days to process a repeat prescription request?

At Eastmead Surgery prescriptions are requested every day.

Our prescription clerk has to check your medical records to ensure that your medication request is on your repeat prescription, it then goes to our Clinical Pharmacist or Doctor to authorise and ensure that it is still appropriate for you. Once authorised, our reception team will file your prescription ready for collection.

Delays may occur if any medication requested is not on your repeat prescription list or if your medication request differs from what is on your list. Your doctor may also request that you make an appointment to have your medication reviewed.

Prescribing Wisely

Medicines and products that can be bought over the counter without a prescription

The NHS in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster spent over £13 million in 2016 on products that can be bought without a prescription at community pharmacies.

The NHS is under pressure. Our budgets are not large enough to pay for all the treatments we would like to purchase.

We would like to spend less on medicines you can buy without a prescription so as to free up funds for other valuable NHS services. So practices across North West London will no longer routinely prescribe medicines which are available to buy over the counter in pharmacies (and, in the case of some medicines, in supermarkets and other shops too).

Non-Repeat (Acute) Prescriptions

How to order a non-repeat prescription

If you have an on-going problem and would like another prescription of a medication previously prescribed to you by the doctor (but not on your repeat list) you may request another prescription. Please let us know the reason for your request and a contact number, in order for the doctor to review your request.

Non-repeat medication requests will take up to 3 working days to process and the doctor may wish to speak with you.

Nominate a Pharmacy

Your GP can send your prescription straight to a pharmacy/chemist electronically, to save you coming to the surgery to pick it up. You DO NOT need to have a nominated pharmacy. If you do not, you can present to any pharmacy and they can locate your prescription and dispense it for you. It may take a little longer this way but if you have your NHS number, it can speed it up. You can nominate a pharmacy using your NHS account, Airmid/NHS app or other online service. You can also ask reception or the pharmacy to do this for you. Only the practice can remove your nominated pharmacy if you no longer wish to have one.  For more information, please visit the NHS Electronic Prescription Service Information Page.

Paper prescriptions can also be sent straight to your preferred pharmacy.

Prescription Costs

Visit NHS Choices for information on:

  • Prescription charges
  • Who is entitled for free prescriptions
  • Medical exemptions (certain diseases will exempt you from paying for your prescription)
  • Free prescriptions for cancer patients, renal dialysis patients and pregnant women
  • Help for those on low income.