Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Prescriptions

Types of prescription

There are two types of prescriptions:

  • Acute prescriptions are generally one-off or infrequent prescriptions prescribed by the doctor or pharmacist on a case by case basis.  For example:
    • Antibiotics - these are usually prescribed at a specific dose for a set duration to treat a specific infection.  Due to the side effects of antibiotics and the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance a doctor needs to make a clinical decision to prescribe these drugs on an individual case by case basis.
    • Steroid creams - due to the significant side effects and risks with use of strong steroids and prolonged steroid use it is important that a doctor or pharmacist judges of the appropriate of prescriptions on a case by case basis
    • Drugs liable to dependence or abuse such as: Benzodiazepines (diazepam; temazepam), Z-drugs (zopiclone; zolpidem), and strong painkillers (tramadol; maxitram; co-codamol 30/500) - due to the risk of developing dependence with prolonged use these drugs they will often be prescribed for a short term period and not intended for prolonged use. 
  • Repeat prescriptions are generally for medications that are intended to be taken on an ongoing or longterm basis.  For example:
    • Blood pressure lowering medication
    • Cholesterol-lowering medication
    • Hormone replacement therapy
    • Oral contraceptive pills
    • Inhalers
    • Medications for chronic conditions
  • When a doctor or pharmacist prescribes a drug on repeat prescription they will authorise a set quantity of medication (usually a one month supply but can be up to 3 months supply).  They will also set a limit to the number or repeat prescriptions that can be ordered before a review of the medication is needed - usually they will authorise enough repeat prescriptions to last one year.
  • The number and duration of repeat prescriptions is limited as many medications require monitoring at set intervals to ensure safe ongoing prescribing.  Usually monitoring is in the form of blood tests.

Ordering prescriptions

Acute Prescriptions

An acute prescription is any prescription that is not on repeat.

There are a number of ways to request an acute prescription:

  • Leave a message on the prescription request voicemail service
  • Leave a written request into the practice
  • Leave a written request in the black post box at the front door
  • Order online

Please note: A request is no guarantee of the prescription being provided.  The doctor or pharmacist may wish to discuss your request further before making a decision.  In some cases your request may be declined.

Leave a message on the prescription request voicemail service

Phone the practice on (028) 91 455 000 and select option 3.  You will be taken through to a voicemail service where you can leave your prescription request.

  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Please start by stating your full name, date of birth and address
  • If calling from a mobile ensure you have a good signal
  • Name each medication and dose, spelling the name where necessary
  • State the reason for the request
  • DO NOT use this voicemail service for leaving messages for the doctors or any other staff or for requesting anything other than medications as the staff will be unable to action or respond to any requests other than those for medication

Dropping your written acute prescription request into the practice

Please leave a written request into the practice.

This should clearly state:

  • Your name, date of birth and address
  • The name and dose of the medication you are requesting
  • The reason for the request

Leaving a written request in the black post box at the front door

You can leave a written request in the black post box to the left of the front door.

This should clearly state:

  • Your name, date of birth and address
  • The name and dose of the medication you are requesting
  • The reason for the request

Order online

  • State the name and dose of the medication you are requesting
  • State the reason for your request
  • Submit your online request

Repeat Prescriptions

There are a number of ways to request a repeat prescription:

  • Leave a message on the prescription request voicemail service
  • Drop your repeat prescription order form into the practice
  • Leave your repeat prescription order form in the black post box at the front door
  • Order online

Leaving a message on the prescription request voicemail service

Phone the practice on (028) 91 455 000 and select option 3.  You will be taken through to a voicemail service where you can leave your prescription request.

  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Please start by stating your full name, date of birth and address
  • If calling from a mobile ensure you have a good signal
  • Name each medication and dose, spelling the name where necessary
  • DO NOT use this voicemail service for leaving messages for the doctors or any other staff or for requesting anything other than medications as the staff will be unable to action or respond to any requests other than those for medication

Dropping your repeat medication request form into the practice

Medication can be requested using the repeat prescription reorder form on the right hand side of your prescription.  This form shows all items which are currently authorised for repeat ordering. You need to tick the items you require. You do not have to order every item every time, for example if you only take one item occasionally, but please try to order no more than once a month.

Leaving your repeat prescription order form in the black post box at the front door

Outside of opening hours you can leave your request in the black post box to the left hand side of the front door of the practice.  These are collected daily from Monday to Friday by the reception staff.

Online 

  • State the name and dose of the medication you are requesting
  • State the reason for your request
  • Submit your online request

How long before prescriptions are ready

To allow time for necessary checks to be made we need a full 2 working days to issue prescriptions after they are requested so please take this into account when ordering. 

Prescriptions will be available for collection after 4.30 pm 2 days after they are requested. 

Please note: f you order your prescription on a Monday it will be ready for collection after 4.30 pm on Thursday afternoon as the practice closes at 1.00 pm on Wednesday. 

If you order your prescription on a Friday it will be ready for collection after 4.30 pm on the following Tuesday.

Requesting prescriptions early or for longer duration than normal

If you need your prescription issued very early or for a longer duration than usual because you are going on holiday, please explain your need in writing on the repeat prescription request form or phone and speak to a receptionist.  Usually we do not issue prescriptions more than 10 days before they are due and the maximum supply that can be issued at any one time is for 3 months.

Other ways to obtain your medication

Several local pharmacies collect prescriptions from us on a daily basis and will then prepare them ready for you to collect at your convenience or, in some cases, will deliver them to you. Ask your pharmacy or our receptionist for details.

A useful way to manage repeat prescriptions is to request an online account and also state a pharmacy preference.  This way, whenever you order online, your prescription will be prepared and left for collection by your preferred pharmacy.  Then you can simply collect your medication from the pharmacy when ready.

If you prefer your prescription posted to you, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope with your request and remember to allow time for the postal service. 

Please remember

  • All prescription requests take 2 full working days to process
  • Prescriptions are available for collection between 4.30 pm and 6.00 pm each day except Wednesday
  • The doctor or pharmacist may want to speak to you before issuing a prescription
  • We will usually only issue up to 3 month's medication at a time
  • Repeat prescriptions for HRT or the contraceptive pill are usually issued as a 3-month supply and an annual health check is required to re-authorise your prescription. If you run out before you can get an appointment for your annual health check you can order a 1 month emergency supply
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