Changes to repeat prescription ordering

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch York undertook research into how well the new repeat prescription process introduced in September 2019 was working, as they had heard concerns from members of the public and local pharmacies.  They spoke to 80 members of the public and 22 members of staff working at pharmacies.

The public had several concerns including not getting any information about the change when it happened, problems for carers and vulnerable people, the extra time involved, and difficulties getting online and telephone access to GP surgeries.  Some members of the public who had been able to get online access did report greater convenience and efficiency since using online services.

Pharmacy staff’s concerns included the challenges faced by older and vulnerable patients, having to deal with people who had run out of medication or had gone without.  Some mentioned there were some benefits for patients including increased patient control and less reliance on the pharmacy.  Pharmacy staff experienced problems when it was first introduced, difficulties in meeting patient expectations and increased time spent on problem solving. The positive aspects of the change included increased pharmacy staff time and reduced workload.  They made several suggestions to improve the procedure

The report proposes recommendations around three key areas: improving engagement prior to service change, improving access for carers, older people and other vulnerable groups and improving consistency in general practice service delivery and online systems across York.

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General details

Report title 
Changes to repeat prescription ordering
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch York
Date of publication 
Monday, 27 April, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 October, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Community pharmacy
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.