Prescription FAQ’s

What is a repeat prescription?

A repeat prescription is a medication that your doctor has authorised on your file which can be supplied for a certain period of time on a regular basis without having to see your doctor each time. Repeat prescriptions are normally authorised for a period of 6 to 12 months but this may vary with the type of medicine and at the doctor’s discretion.

How do I get my prescription?

Your doctor will usually give you your first prescription which will have 2 parts. The GREEN slip is the actual prescription which you give to the pharmacist to obtain your medication. The WHITE side shows the list of drugs that you can order as repeat issues. We also call this the repeat re-order form. Please keep this as you need it to order more medication.

To order more medication:

  1. Please mark only those items that you need by ticking each item on the WHITE SLIP. Please do not tick items that you do not need.
  2. Then place your re-order from in the prescription request box on the wall opposite the main reception desk or leave with your local pharmacist to bring in to the surgery (*Please note this could mean that your script may take slightly longer as it may not be delivered to the practice until the following working day).

If you have lost your re-order form, you can ask reception to print one for you or you can write the items you are requesting on a form provided by reception.

You can also order repeat medication using Online access. If you do not yet have patient access, please ask reception for details on getting you set up.

Please give the Practice 72 hours and Pharmacies one week excluding weekends and Bank Holidays before collection.


1) URGENT PRESCRIPTIONS WILL ONLY BE ISSUED FOR THE MEDICATION LISTED HERE, all other medications will be subject to our 72 hour turnaround time.

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Why aren’t prescription requests able to be taken over the telephone?

The reason that we do not take requests for repeat prescriptions over the telephone is because many errors have happened in the past when repeat prescription requests have been taken over the phone, and patient safety is paramount to us. When prescriptions are requested over the phone, mistakes are more likely to occur due to:

  • Confusion with drug name pronunciation
  • Errors made when writing out the request

We therefore request that patients visit us at the surgery to write down their prescription request. This allows records to be matched more accurately and requests can be processed with no interruption from further telephone calls.

When will a medication not be put on repeat or taken off repeat prescription?

It is not always appropriate to put or to continue to keep a medicine on repeat prescription. This may occur if:

  • The medication is a short course of medicine for an acute problem, i.e. antibiotics for acute infections.
  • Medications that are changing or the dosage is being adjusted.
  • When a review is needed or overdue: your doctor may stop your medication if it is considered unsafe to prescribe before a clinical review is completed. This is to ensure that your medication is correct, at the right dose and that you are getting the best from your medication.

What happens if the medication I want is not specified as one of my repeats (an acute script)?

Medication can sometimes be on your record as an acute script (please see above). This means that this medication will not show on your repeat medication screen, and will not be available to order via the online ordering system. To order more of an acute medication, please come in to the surgery and re order with reception.

What if I need a medication review?

We have a clinical pharmacist, Alberto Ratasi Sanchez who works with us on a Wednesday and Thursday. Alberto looks at queries that patients have on their medication requests (things such has usage/ review dates/last issue date etc). Alberto also runs a medication review clinic on a Wednesday and Thursday. These appointments are not available to be booked online, you will need to call reception on 01275 868500 to arrange an appointment.

Please note that if you fail to have regular medication reviews at the surgery, your medication quantity will be reduced and eventually stopped until a review has taken place. We need to ensure that our patients have regular medication reviews to be sure that the medication they are taking is safe and appropriate for them.

How long does it take to get my prescription?

Please give the Practice 72 working hours (excluding weekends and Bank Holidays) before collection.

What is the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)?

EPS makes it possible for your prescriptions to be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice. Choosing a pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor to process your EPS prescription is called nomination. This means that you will no longer have to collect a paper repeat prescription from your GP practice. Instead, you can go straight to the nominated pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor to pick up your medicines or medical appliances. As your pharmacist will have already received your electronic prescription, they may be able to prepare your items in advance, so you can pick it up with no extra wait. However, this depends on the capacity of pharmacists on the day and may not be possible all the time.

My repeat medications all run out at different times. Is there a way you can synchronise these so that I only need to order and collect them once?

Yes, there is. Please fill in this form here and we will then issue a prescription for different amounts of each item so that they can all be ordered at the same time in future.

Can I put a request for medication in early if I am going away on holiday?

You can request medication early if you are going on holiday, please make us aware when you submit your request, this will then be given to a GP to authorise.

Can I get a private prescription from the surgery?

Private prescriptions are available from the GP surgery. A cost of £20 applies on top of the pharmacy cost.

What happens if I have been in Hospital and they have changed my medication?

Following a hospital discharge, the hospital will send us a copy of the discharge report, outlining any actions for GP’s, medication changes and ongoing management plans. This report will be added to your patient record and sent to either our clinical pharmacist or to a GP to upload the new medications to your record and issue them. The hospital should have discharged you with at least a weeks’ worth of any medication that is to be ongoing.

How should I dispose of unwanted medication?

If your medicine is out of date, unwanted or if you have some left over after you have stopped taking it, please don’t throw it away yourself.  Instead, take it to your local pharmacy to be disposed of safely. Please check with your local pharmacy that they can dispose of your medication. Never throw any medication in the bin or burn it or flush it down the toilet as this can harm the environment.

Can sickness and diarrhoea affect my medication?         

As a general rule, medication will not have been absorbed normally if there is vomiting within 3 hours, although it is difficult to be precise about repeating a dose unless vomiting occurs within 30 minutes or so. If vomiting can be stopped for a few hours around the time tablets are due to be taken, this may give enough time for absorption of the medicine’s active ingredients into the body.

It depends on how long you are being sick or how long you have had diarrhoea for. If you are sick (vomit) within two hours of taking your contraceptive pill, it will not have been absorbed by your body. You should take another pill straight away. As long as you’re not sick again, you are still protected against pregnancy.

Which inhaler do I use?

There are a number of different types of inhalers – to make it easier for you when ordering your repeat prescription please see the inhaler identifier chart here.

How can I recycle my inhaler?

Thanks to a scheme run by GlaxoSmithKline called ‘Complete the Cycle’, used inhalers can now be recycled. Patients can return all used inhalers to any community pharmacy to be disposed of in an environmentally safe way, preventing the release of greenhouse gases that occurs when inhalers are sent to landfill. 

Simply hand in your empty, out of date or unused inhaler to a participating pharmacy or locate your nearest participating pharmacy here:

The nearest participating pharmacies to Harbourside are:

  • Boots Pharmacy – 50 High Street,Portishead, Bristol, Avon, BS20 6EL
  • Boots Pharmacy – 29-30 Somerset Square,Nailsea, Bristol, Avon, BS48 1RQ
  • Rowlands Pharmacy – 111 Old Street,Clevedon, Avon, BS21 6BP

The inhalers are collected as part of routine deliveries, so no extra miles are travelled, and then taken to be sorted for recycling or recovery. Recovery means using the non-recyclable parts of the inhaler to generate energy.

GSK can also recycle and recover respiratory inhalers manufactured by companies other than GSK. Read their inhaler list to find out which inhalers they take back.

Where can I find reliable, quality information about my medication?

Finding information about your medication, especially online, can sometimes be difficult and confusing. We recommend that you ask your community pharmacist, or our in-house clinical pharmacist, if you have questions about your medicines.

You can now also find content on 200 medicines on the Medicines A-Z pages on 

These pages offer patient-friendly, clinically assured advice on a range of the most prescribed medicines.”