Medication requests from other organisations 

Requests for converting specialist private prescriptions to NHS prescriptions In the interest of patient safety, please note that a private prescription cannot simply be converted to a NHS prescription.

GPs take full legal and clinical responsibility for all prescriptions they sign. The GP must therefore make an assessment ensuring sufficient information has been given to accept this responsibility as the patient has been clinically diagnosed by another specialist healthcare professional.

Before a NHS prescription can be issued, the GP must have received a letter from the private consultant explaining the precise details of the prescription; what it is being used to treat; how long the treatment is intended for; and what monitoring or follow up is required. Please allow 5 full working days for this process.

We therefore advise patients that: A private prescription request will be considered by a GP – It will not be issued automatically and patients may be requested to make a face to face or telephone appointment with a GP. In this case, patients will be contacted. If the GP is unable to issue a NHS prescription, patients can still obtain the medication by paying for it privately with the prescription issued by the specialist at any community pharmacy. The GP may refuse to issue you with an NHS prescription for the following reasons:

  • If the GP considers that there is a not a clear clinical indication for the prescription, and that in the same circumstances an NHS patient would not be being offered this treatment.
  • If the private specialist recommends a new or experimental treatment, or recommends prescribing a medication outside of its licensed indication.
  • If the medication recommended is not generally provided within the NHS.
  • If the medication is of a specialised nature requiring on-going monitoring, some GPs may feel that they have insufficient information to accept responsibility for the prescription.

Hospital Outpatient Letters

Hospital Outpatient requests are non-urgent and this should be clearly stated on the reverse of the hospital form. As above, a prescription will not be issued automatically and patients may be requested to make a face to face or telephone appointment with a GP. In this case, you will be contacted.

lease allow 7 full working days for this process as the GP may be required to discuss the request with the hospital specialist team.Hospital PrescriptionsYou should NOT bring us prescriptions issued by the hospital clinics. GP Dispensaries and Pharmacies are unable to dispense medication from these prescriptions.

It is often not possible for us to transfer the medication requested onto our own prescriptions without the accompanying clinic letter which the hospital may not send to us until a few weeks after your appointment. Please ensure that you take these prescriptions to the hospital pharmacy, as you should have been advised at your appointment.

Emergency requests for medication

Requests for medication to be issued on the same day (emergency prescriptions) put a strain on our GPs and Dispensers, therefore we would encourage patients to order their medication before their supply runs out. 

We understand that occasionally it is necessary to request medication urgently and at short notice. We would be grateful if you could inform the dispensary, explaining the reason your medication is required urgently to ensure it can be assessed by a GP and then dealt with by a dispenser.

Any EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTIONS should be available for collection after 16:00 the same day. Please only use this service in an emergency but be aware that it is not always possible to issue an emergency supply of medication at short notice.The GP may decide that the medication requested is not of an urgent nature, in which case your prescription will be ready for collection in the usual two full working days.

The Duty GP may only issue a 7 day supply of the requested medication as an emergency.Quit 51Prescription requests for patients attending the Quit 51 smoking cessation programme will be available for collection 3 full working days from receipt of advisory document.