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Agenda item

Repeat Medicines Ordering

The Committee will receive a report outlining how the NHS Vale of York CCG is rolling out a project to change the way repeat medicines are ordered.



Dr Andrew Lee, Director of Primary Care and Population Health, Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Jamal Hussain, Senior Pharmacist, Vale of York CCG introduced the above report outlining how the NHS Vale of York CCG were implementing a project changing the way that repeat medicines were ordered.


It was reported that from the beginning of September 2019, following extensive communication with relevant parties, GPs would no longer be accepting repeat prescription requests from dispensing or appliance contractors (DC) such as a community pharmacy.  Exceptions would be made for some vulnerable patients or those unable to get to a GP practice.  The purpose of these changes were to improve patient safety in terms of reducing the risk of errors in what is dispensed, and to reduce the number of unwanted medicines being received by patients.


In response to questions from members on how this new method of ordering would reduce waste Dr Lee explained that patients would be in charge of making their prescription request at the practice. The GP would then review the prescription, leading to less waste and improved ordering, as medication would not be from a third party and only ordered when needed.  It had been a concern in the past that medication that was not required had been ordered.  Once medication had been ordered for a patient, where it is not required, that medication cannot be re-issued.  This had implications in terms of toxicity and disposal.


Members queried whether this process would increase GP workload.  Dr Lee responded that all patients should receive an annual review of their medication, this process would lead to fewer prescriptions.


A member mentioned that whilst they had found the new NHS app to be excellent, they had experienced difficulty when installing the app.  Dr Lee responded that GP reception staff were receiving training so that they would be able to assist patients with this. 


In response to questions regarding learnings from other CCGs that had implemented this process, Dr Lee explained that there had been some initial resistance from patients, however, once patients had understood the reasoning behind this and had used this service for a year or so, the feedback had been positive.


Members shared the views and experiences of residents affected by the changes, along with the fear and uncertainty by vulnerable residents of the impact of the changes.  


Members expressed concern that information regarding the changes had not come to scrutiny earlier, as this would have allowed members to share potential resident concerns, as well as communicate changes proposed to residents in a timely manner.  Dr Lee agreed to consult this committee on such matters at an earlier stage, to ensure that members would be in an informed position to support and advise residents in their wards.


Resolved: That the committee:


(i)           Considered the report on Repeat Medicines Ordering and appreciate and recognise the significant safety risks and costs associated with medicines waste and note how this project will work to reduce this waste.


(ii)         Acknowledged the Clinical Commissioning Group project.



(iii)        Will share details of the project with their wards and member constituents. 



Supporting documents:


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