Ordering Prescriptions

To request a repeat prescription, please follow the guidelines below and choose the right option for you. Please allow 72 hours (three working days), excluding bank holidays, for your prescription request to be processed.  We do not accept repeat prescription requests over the phone.

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Use the NHS App

The Birches Medical Centre would like to invite you to use The NHS App

Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

The simplest and quickest way to order your repeat medication is by using the NHS App which links directly to your Prescription record at the Practice.

Download the NHS App

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Order Online with SystmOnline

You can order your repeat prescription online using SystmOnline

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You can order your repeat prescription online using SystmOnline.

The simplest and quickest way to order your repeat medication is by using SystmOnline which links directly to your Prescription record at the Practice.

Order Online

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You can order your prescription via Anima

If you do not have a SystmOnline account, you can still order your prescription via Anima.

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Your Local Pharmacy

Pharmacies offer a prescription collection service from our Practice

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Pharmacy Ordering / Collection Service

Your pharmacy can also order your medication on your behalf. This saves you time and unnecessary visits to the Practice. Please contact the Pharmacy of your choice for more information if you wish to use this service.

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In Person

You can order in person by returning the right-hand half of a previous prescription for the required medications

Alternatively, you can submit a handwritten request. You may also write out an order for someone else, providing you include the patient’s name and date of birth and requested medication.

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By Post

You can post your prescription slip or written request to us at the Practice

You must include a stamped addressed envelope for return by post if you will not be able to pick up your prescription from the Surgery. Please allow at least seven days if requesting your medication by post.

Collecting Your Prescription

In all cases please allow 72 hours (3 working days) before collection of your prescription.

This means if you:

  • Submit on Monday you can collect on Thursday after 4pm
  • Submit on Tuesday you can collect on Friday after 4pm
  • Submit on Wednesday you can collect on Monday after 4pm
  • Submit on Thursday you can collect on Tuesday after 4pm
  • Submit on Friday you can collect on Wednesday after 4pm

Reviewing Your Medication

Patients on repeat medication will be asked to see a doctor, nurse practitioner or practice nurse at least once a year to review these regular medications and notification should appear on your repeat slip. 

Please ensure that you book an appropriate appointment to avoid unnecessary delays to further prescriptions.

Further Information

Controlled Drugs

Please be advised you can only request a controlled drug during week 3 of a 4 weeks supply.

Controlled drugs are only issued as 4 weeks supply as per NHS ENGLAND guidance and Practice Protocol. Please be aware that controlled drug prescriptions will expire after 28 days from issue date so these need to be taken a pharmacy and dispensed before the expiry date.

Generally prescribed list of controlled medication include the following: 

  • BUTEC  

Medication Supply Issues

We are aware that some patients are experiencing issues with stock levels of their medication at their regular pharmacy.

Please be aware that if this is the case we would expect you to contact alternative pharmacies to obtain the medication rather than request an alternative medication on prescription.

For some medication there may not be an appropriate alternative and in some cases we made need to contact the hospital to recommend an alternative. If you are unable to obtain the medication from any other local pharmacy then we will be able to investigate whether and alternative medication is available and appropriate for your treatment, please be patient with our staff while we do this.

If you would like contact details for local pharmacies you can call dial 111 on your telephone to speak to an NHS advisor or visit www.nhs.uk and use the search tool to look for pharmacies in your area.

Medicines Not Available on Prescription

Position Statement on the Prescribing of Medications Available to Purchase Over the Counter in Ipswich and East Suffolk

Patients are advised to keep a small supply of simple treatments in their medicine cabinet at home so they are able to manage minor ailments themselves. 

All these medicines are widely available from supermarkets and pharmacies at reasonable cost. Many of these treatments are more expensive when prescribed on the NHS compared to when they are purchased in pharmacies or supermarkets e.g. paracetamol is approximately 4x more expensive on prescription. The NHS belongs to everybody and the CCG must ensure that its resources are used in the best possible way for all patients. 

The Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG does not support the prescribing of medication that is available to buy from local pharmacies or supermarkets for children or adults. The medications listed below are examples of medicines that should be purchased by the patient/parent/guardian. 

This list is not exhaustive: 

  • Moisturising creams, gels, ointments and balms for dry skin with no diagnosis 
  • Hay fever remedies e.g. antihistamines, nasal sprays (patients >18yrs) 
  • Bath oils and shower gel (unless recommended by a specialist for infected atopic eczema) 
  • Vitamins and supplements e.g. low dose vitamin D (<2,000units), I-Caps, multivitamins 
  • Potassium hydroxide for Molluscum contagiosum e.g. Molludab 
  • Lubricating eye drops and chloramphenicol eye drops and eye ointment (patients >2yrs) 
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medication for short term diarrhoea (<72hrs) 
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for short term use 
  • Antifungal preparations e.g. Canesten 
  • Rehydration sachets 
  • Anti-inflammatory gels e.g. ibuprofen gel 
  • Laxatives for short term use (<72 hours) 
  • Head lice treatments 
  • Threadworm tablets 
  • Lactose free infant formula 
  • Antiperspirants 
  • Cough and cold remedies 
  • Medicated shampoos e.g. Alphosyl, Capasal 
  • Mouthwash e.g. Corsodyl 
  • Indigestion remedies e.g. Gaviscon, Peptac 
  • Haemorrhoidal preparations e.g. Anusol 
  • Nasal douches e.g Sterimar

Urgent Prescription Requests

Requests for urgent prescriptions put a great strain on the everyday running of the surgery.

We understand that sometimes patients forget to order medication but there is some medication that can be bought from your local pharmacy or that it is safe for you to miss while we process a standard prescription request. 

We WILL NOT issue an urgent prescription for the following items: 

  • OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION - this can be purchased from a local pharmacy 
  • SUPPLIMENTS inc Calcium and Vitamin D and Iron tablets 
  • ANTACIDS inc Ranitidine, Omeprazole, Gaviscon and Peptac 
  • IBS MEDICATION inc mebeverine and loperamide 

Please be aware that we are often unable to process urgent requests for medication that has been initiated by hospital and not issued at the surgery yet. Please allow more time for these prescriptions to be issued.