Repeat prescriptions are medicines your GP has authorised for you to order until your next review and are usually listed on the other half of your prescription. If you have taken or are taking a medicine which is not on your repeat prescription list, it means that your GP has not authorised the medicine to be automatically repeated.

Contact the practice online if you need a medicine which is not listed on your repeat prescription and we will do our best to see if it can be issued, but it may mean that you need to see your GP beforehand.


We normally require up to 3 days notice to process a repeat prescription. During busy times or unusual demand (e,g, Coronavirus pandemic), this could extend to 5 days. If you need to order medication in advance i.e. if you are going on holiday then please make this clear on your re-order form.

Ways of ordering your repeat medication

You can order your repeat prescriptions when needed in a variety of ways. The most important thing to remember is to only order what you need to save precious NHS resources. If your medicines are automatically ordered by a third party e.g. a pharmacy, please check before receipt that they have not ordered things you don’t need by checking the supply first. Pharmacies cannot take back unwanted medicines once you have taken them out of the pharmacy and they have to be destroyed, which is a source of great waste in the NHS.

One of the simplest, most secure and fast ways to order your medication online, is by using our Repeat Prescription Request triage.

You may also Register for Online Services with us and you will be able to access a list of your repeat medications to order at any time of day.

Alternatively, can order by sending us a written prescription request, usually by ticking the items you require from those listed on your repeats counterfoil. This can either be dropped in at the surgery in the special prescription box, or given to a third party to bring in for you e.g. pharmacy. This method usually takes about 3 working days to process a prescription.

We do accept some telephone requests from patients who are unable to access online ordering or who do not have anyone to order for them and who are not mobile. However, telephone requests can be unsafe, so as a rule we only use this method in exceptional cases.

Many local pharmacies offer a service where they can order on your behalf as well as a delivery service – please find your local pharmacy if you would like this service.

We will try our best to process your request as fast as possible, but sometimes requests are delayed if there is a query, or if your annual or interim review is due, and as safety takes priority, we would ask you to bear with us on these occasions.

Dispensing by the practice

Your prescribed medicines may be dispensed for you by the surgery, if you live more than 1 mile (1.6km) from a pharmacy, or by a community pharmacy.

GP dispensing services

Our dispensing staff working within our surgery dispensaries at Caister, Hemsby and Windmill can dispense your medicines if you live more than 1 mile form a community pharmacy or if you register as a Temporary Resident.

All of our dispensers are very well qualified or in training and are professionals registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council where applicable. We also have 2 pharmacists supervising the dispensary and assisting with dispensing where needed.

We aim to deliver a high quality, caring service to our dispensing patients, and we also employ a delivery driver to deliver medicines to our patients in remote areas who are less mobile. Each year we participate in the national Dispensing Services Quality Scheme to ensure our services remain high quality, and we are regulated through regular inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Pharmacy (Chemist) dispensing

If you live within 1 mile (1.6km) of a pharmacy then you must have your prescriptions dispensed at a pharmacy, though it does not have to be the one you live closest to. It can be the pharmacy of your choice, just let us know which pharmacy you prefer when you register so that we know where to send your prescriptions. Most pharmacy prescriptions are now sent direct electronically.

You can change the pharmacy you use at any time.

There are many to choose from and a list is available on the NHS Choices website.

Please be aware that if you choose an online pharmacy, they may not be open at weekends if you need urgent supplies.

Appliance contractor dispensing

Sometimes you may be prescribed appliances or other items which have to be obtained from a specialist dispenser. This will be for things like stoma bags or special feeds. Just let us know of your preferred appliance contractor when you register so that we can send these special scripts to the correct contractor for dispensing and delivery to your home. If you do receive these items on prescription, please ensure you ask for the prescription before you organise the delivery, as we cannot issue retrospective prescriptions.

Prescriptions for holidays

Generally we do our best to accommodate requests for longer supplies of prescriptions for holidays, but this does depend on the person’s condition and how stable that is. If you need a longer supply for your holiday, please get in touch with details of how much you need.

If you are travelling abroad, special NHS rules apply. In general, we try to supply up to 3 months medication if we can, but this does depend on your condition and the final decision rests with your GP.

Formularies and restricted medicines

Not everything is allowed on NHS prescription. Sometimes if a hospital doctor requests something that is not allowed locally by the NHS then we are unable to prescribe it, and there may be a delay while we contact the hospital to find an alternative.

Locally, the NHS is also advising people to buy items from pharmacies where possible as this costs the NHS less, allowing precious resources to be channeled into care. GPs have to follow local formularies, and this may mean that sometimes your medicines are changed in line with formulary changes.

If you have any queries or concerns about any changes, please submit a Prescription Question online.

Medication reviews

Medication reviews are an important part of your care, and we like to do these at least once a year, or more frequently if you are receiving a lot of medication each month.

We may call you in for a review, or arrange to speak to you over the telephone.

Sometimes the review may involve stopping some medicines, but we will discuss this with you first.

If you have been advised by the surgery that your medication review is due, complete our Medication Review online.

Other reviews

Our dispensers will also undertake a medicines use review to check if you are having any problems with the medicines, and this is usually done when you pick up your prescription. If you have your prescriptions dispensed by a pharmacy, the pharmacist may invite you to have a similar medicines use review, or if you are prescribed a new type of medicine, a review under the new medicines service.

Emergency supplies

You should try to make sure you don’t run out of the regular medicines you need. If this does happen, contact the dispensary or the pharmacy, depending on where you usually get your medicines dispensed, and an emergency supply of medicine may be allowed. This only usually applies to medicines where serious harm could result if the medication is missed e.g blood pressure medicines.