Repeat Prescriptions

We require two full working days before your prescription is ready for collection. It is not always possible to issue an emergency supply of medication at short notice. Please read this letter from the Practice Manager for further information. 

You can request a repeat prescription in a number of ways:

  • request a repeat prescription in writing from reception
  • request a repeat prescription online or through your smartphone using Patient Access
  • ask your local chemist to request a repeat prescription from the surgery
  • request a repeat prescription by post (we will be happy to post it back to you if you enclose a stamp addressed envelope)

You can collect your prescription in a number of ways:

  • in person from reception during normal practice opening hours
  • on a regular basis from the pharmacy - using repeat dispensing
  • you can ask for it to be collected by one of our local pharmacies (you must ask the pharmacy first and they will arrange it on your behalf)
  • sent by the secure Electronic Prescription Service to the pharmacy of your choice anywhere in England. Many of our patients find this a convenient and speedy way to get their prescriptions sent to a pharmacy close to their work or home. Either ask reception or your pharmacy for more details. 


Prescription Charges

The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.

Current NHS prescription charges are:

  • Prescription (per item): £9

  • 3-month PPC: £29.10 – this saves money if you need 4 or more items in three months.

  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00 – this saves money if 13 or more items are needed in 12 months.

PPCs are available by 10 monthly direct debit instalment payments. The prescription prepayment certificates allows anyone to obtain all the prescriptions they need for £2 per week.

Find out more about the prescription prepayment certificate

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website.

Medication Without Prescription

Did you know that many local pharmacies can offer you advice and treatment for a number of health problems free of charge (if you do not normally pay for prescriptions)? This is called the Minor Ailments Scheme and the following conditions can be treated.

  • Athlete's foot
  • Coughs and colds
  • Constipation
  • Cystitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Hay fever
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Allergies
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Minor cuts and burns
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains and strains
  • Teething
  • Threadworms
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Verrucas
  • Viral upper respiratory infections
  • Warts

In order to take advantage of the scheme, ask reception for a “Patient Passport” which allows up to ten free consultations with participating pharmacies.

Medication Reviews

Sometimes you might see a note on the blank side of your prescription telling you that you are due for a medication review. This is an opportunity for a GP (or in some cases our practice nurse) to check that your medication is still the best treatment for your condition and that you have had the appropriate monitoring and health checks done for your condition. If you have been taking the same medication for many years and your condition is stable it may be possible to conduct your medication review as a telephone consultation.

Why did the doctor not issue my prescription?

Sometimes the GP will not issue a request for a prescription and will ask you to arrange a telephone or face-to-face consultation instead - or to send us further information. Common reasons include:

  • You have requested a medication that has never been given to you before by this surgery
  • You have requested your repeat prescription too soon (the GP might be concerned that you are taking your tablets too often and that they are running out early)
  • You have requested an item which is not usually given as a repeat prescription (such as antibiotics or steroid creams)
  • You have not been seen by the GP or nurse for a while and you need to have routine monitoring and health checks before we can safely issue your prescription. Common reasons are listed below. If you are able to send us the appropriate information - or arrange for a blood test or nurse appointment - in good time, it will reduce delays in issuing your prescription:
    • Patient who are taking Warfarin have not provided us with their INR readings from their anticoagulation clinic appointments
    • Patients taking Levothyroxine have not had their thyroid function tests done for over a year
    • Patients on blood pressure lowering medication have not their blood pressure checked or blood tests  to monitor their kidney function and overall cardiovascular risk done for over a year
    • Patients with diabetes who have not had monitoring blood tests done for a while (generally twice a year minimum) or have not had their annual physical health check
    • Women taking the Combined Oral Contraceptive pill who have no provided us with an update of their weight, blood pressure, smoking status or any other changes in their health for over a year
    • Patients on cytotoxic medication (common examples are Methotrexate, Azathioprine) who have not provided us with copies of monitoring blood tests done by their hospital clinic
    • Patients with a respiratory condition (most commonly asthma or COPD) who have not had a review appointment in the past year
  • You gave us a handwritten prescription from a hospital which you were supposed to take to the hospital pharmacy

Please note that all of the clinical reasons above are unanimously agreed by all of the GPs at the surgery. If your prescription was not issued, this would have been for a clinical reason and would have been decided by a doctor. Decisions about whether prescriptions are issued, or not, are not made by members of our reception or admin team - only by the GPs.



Hospital Prescriptions

You should not bring us prescriptions issued by hospital outpatient clinics. It is often not possible for us to issue these prescriptions without the accompanying clinic letter which the hospital may not send to us until a few weeks later. Please take these prescriptions to the hospital pharmacy as you should have been advised at the hospital.

Shared Care Protocol

We prescribe certain medications on what is known as a “shared-care protocol” (examples include Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Ciclosporin). The patient remains under the care of the hospital specialist but the prescription is issued by the GP. Some drugs issued under shared-care require regular monitoring of blood tests to ensure their safety. If the patient is having their blood test monitoring done at the hospital, the GPs at the Abbey Medical Centre reserve the right not to issue the prescription until they have up to date copies of the blood test results. It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure that we are receiving copies of their blood results.

Prescribing Policy

The GPs at the Abbey Medical Centre believe that providing the best possible care to our patients is our top priority. When a prescription is necessary our main considerations are effectiveness and safety. We would never let cost come before patient care but at a same time we try to provide the best value to the NHS by prescribing from an approved list of medications which meet these considerations.

This list is known as a formulary  and we are sometimes asked by a hospital doctor to prescribe medications which are either restricted to the local hospital formulary or are not on either the local hospital or GP formulary. It is not always possible to prescribe these medications but when these situations arise, we will seek advice from the Camden Medicines Management Team in order to find a solution for our patients.

Additional Formulary Links:

Hospital Formulary for North Central London 

GP Formulary for NHS Camden


Private Prescriptions

In most cases, your GP will be happy to issue a NHS prescription for medication which is recommended following a private medical consultation. However, there are some things that our GPs have to take into consideration.

Your GP cannot issue a prescription based solely on a private prescription note from your specialist

Before a NHS prescription can be issued, your 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 treatment is intended for; and what monitoring or follow up is required.

Your GP may refuse to issue you with a NHS prescription for the following reasons:

  • If your GP considers that there is a not a clear clinical indication for the prescription, and that in the same circumstances a 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 very specialized nature requiring ongoing monitoring, some GPs may feel that they have insufficient expertise to accept responsibility for the prescription.

Your NHS prescription may be slightly different to that which was recommended by your private specialist

We are committed to prescribe from a carefully selected list of medications and in line with local policies (a formulary) which provide the best evidence of efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness to the NHS.  If the recommendation from your private specialist is for treatment that is not in the formulary then your GP may change the medication in line with the drugs used for NHS patients locally.

Additional information about medicines recommended by private doctors
If your GP is unable to issue a NHS prescription, you can still obtain the medication by paying for it privately with a prescription issued by your specialist


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