Scheme to centralise repeat prescriptions shortlisted for national award

PUBLISHED: 06:55 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:19 10 March 2020

The Tyntesfield Medical Group team at the old Weston College building which they are transforming into a new medical centre.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Tyntesfield Medical Group team at the old Weston College building which they are transforming into a new medical centre. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A pilot scheme by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to centralise repeat prescriptions across GP practices has been shortlisted for a national award.

The centralised repeat prescription hub was set up for 16 months to serve patients registered at the Tyntesfield Medical Group, in Nailsea, which comprises Backwell, Brockway, Long Ashton and Tower House practices.

The scheme saw all repeat prescriptions sent from the four practices electronically to a dedicated team of trained clerks at the hub, which was based at Brockway.

Previously, prescriptions would be processed by individual practices.

Results showed patient safety increased due to more vigilant checks and led to costs savings of £187,640 due to a reduction in over-prescribing and medicine waste.

MORE: Empty college building to become medical hub.

The scheme also freed up time for GPs and other practice staff who reported saving on average an hour a day.

It has been shortlisted for a national pharmacy and medicine optimisation award by the Health Services Journal (HSJ).

Lisa Rees from the CCG's medicines optimisation team said: 'The pilot was undertaken with the aim of reducing demands on GP workload and reducing unnecessary prescriptions items being issued, which can lead to stockpiling and waste.

'The broader aim was to ensure good medicine optimisation, improve quality and safety and reduce drug spend.

'We're delighted the pilot was so successful, and we would like to see this model rolled out across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area.

'It is also very rewarding the work has been recognised with an HSJ award shortlisting.'

During the pilot, which took place from September 2017 to October 2018, more than 7,700 prescriptions were rejected, which was attributed to hub staff being more vigilant in analysing prescription requests.

The rejection rate dropped after the pilot ended, suggesting patient behaviour changed following advice on correct ways to order prescriptions.

Benefits to GP practices included decreased prescribing workload, in part due to the reduction in prescription over ordering and duplicated work.

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