Patients who regularly take prescribed medicines now have even more choice and convenience when it comes to managing repeat prescriptions.

The existing Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) telephone service is expanding and a medicines management app has been launched in the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area.

An additional six practices join the successful POD from 1 October 2018. Also, the CCG has partnered with Healthera to provide a free app for smartphones which enables users to order repeat medication and keep track on the progress of their request at any time of the day or night.

Dr Sarah MacDermott, Local GP and Chair of NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer patients even more options for managing their medicines, without the need to visit or contact their GP every time they need to order more. The telephone and app services mean they are in control, which helps alleviate the fear of running out of vital medicines.

“Both the POD and Healthera link directly with our Medicines Optimisation team. This means we can ensure that patients get expert advice and we can work with them to reduce medicines waste, which costs the NHS up to £3million a year just in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley alone.”

The Healthera app is especially helpful for people who find it difficult to make personal phone calls during working hours. It also allows patients to easily order and keep track of medication for a dependent and provides reminders of when medicines should be taken. The app is free and can be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play.

POD services enable patients to talk to a trained Medicines Co-ordinator dedicated to taking repeat prescription requests and answering repeat prescription queries. Medicines are then sent to the patient’s chosen pharmacy.

Since it was launched in April 2017, the POD has processed more than 197,000 prescription requests directly to patients. In a patient satisfaction survey in November 2017, approximately 300 people rated the service 4 or 5 out of 5 overall.

Patients can register for the POD if their GP surgery is a participating practice. They can call the POD on 0300 131 1100 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.