The Tredegar Practice

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Types of Prescription Explained

We use a variety of types of prescriptions to provide medication to patients: we mainly use the Repeat Dispensing options, where possible, because they reduce the need for you to contact us as well as the chemist whilst also responsibly managing medication supplies.

Below are some explanations of the different types of prescription we use:

Repeat Prescriptions

Repeat prescriptions are used for regular medication you take long term such as tablets e.g. a statin tablet once a day. As we can be sure of how long the tablets should last for you please do not request them more than 1 week before they are due unless their is a good reason e.g. you are going away.

Repeat Dispensing Prescriptions

Repeat Dispensing Prescriptions are very similar to repeat prescriptions except rather than be for a maxim of 2 months we can provided you with up to 1 years supply in multiple batches. This means that you can go back to the chemist directly for the next batch until all of the batches are finished. At the end of these batches you need to request more from us.

For a useful video explaining how Repeat Dispensing works see here.

Variable Use Prescriptions

Variable Use prescriptions are used for items that you might not use every day or the amounts you use will change for example eczema cream. Variable use prescriptions provide more flexibility on when you can request them from us to allow for these differences.

Variable Use Repeat Dispensing

Just like Repeat Dispensing for Repeat prescriptions, Variable Use Repeat Dispensing works in the same way. We prescribe several batches of medication that you can collect straight from the chemist when you need more. When the batches are finished then you request more from us.

Acute Prescriptions

Acute prescriptions are used for one off or short term medication, for example antibiotics to treat an infection. They are also used when starting a new medication if there needs to be a review before you start taking it long term. Any requests for acute prescriptions need to be made via Accurx as there needs to be a clinical review before we give you more.


Other common terms used when Prescribing

Dossette Boxes or Nomads

These are boxes to help people with extra needs to take their medication- rather than supply different boxes of medication the pharmacist will provide a box with each days medication already separated. For people who need these we usually issue 8 x 1 week repeat dispensing batches that the chemist then dispense weekly for the patient.

Controlled Drugs

Some medication we provide can be higher risk or have potential for abuse as well as their legitimate use. These items are called controlled drugs and there are restrictions on how they are prescribed and how often.

Surgical Appliances and Devices

Surgical Appliances and Devices are a broad term for any externally applied device to help with various issues – they include compression stockings and hosiery, colostomy and stoma products and many more. They are often made to measure and supplied by specialist pharmacies but some community pharmacies also dispense them.

Electronic Prescribing/EPS

We almost exclusively use electronic prescribing rather than paper prescriptions. These have the benefit of being sent instantly to the patient’s nominated chemist as well as being able to be sent anywhere in England if needed. It also means that chemists can instantly check on the status of prescriptions as well as see how many repeat dispensing batches remain. If your prescription was done electronically and you need it from a different chemist then you can simply contact your usual chemist and they can fix this for you without needing to contact the GP surgery.

Nominated Chemist

The vast majority of people who have regular medication have a usual chemist. Please speak to them if you want your prescriptions to automatically be sent to them electronically – we call this nomination. If we don’t have a nominated chemist recorded for you when you request a medication we will ask you for one – the choice of which one is completely up to you.

NHS Spine

This is the common name used for the IT infrastructure that allows for the flow of Electronic Prescriptions.

Date published: 9th January, 2023
Date last updated: 10th February, 2023