POD celebrates first birthday
A telephone ordering service which is making it easier for patients to receive their repeat prescription while helping to cut down on wasted medicines has celebrated its first birthday.
NHS Prescription Ordering Direct (POD), which is run by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group on behalf of GP practices, allows patients to order repeats over the phone rather than filling in a paper request at their pharmacy.
Specially trained call handlers then manage the request, liaising with the GP to resolve any problems and aligning the repeat dates of all of the medications the patient needs so they only have to call in once. They also remove any medication the patient no longer takes from their record, in turn making sure they only receive the drugs they need.
By improving safety and cutting waste in this way, it is estimated that POD will help the NHS save £2.45m every year by the time it has been rolled out across the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area.
Michael Dennis, head of medicines optimisation with the CCG, said: “We have received some excellent feedback about NHS POD since its launch 12 months ago, with patients telling us it’s convenient and easy to use. It has also saved time for our GP and pharmacy colleagues, in turn helping them to better manage increasing demand for their services.
“We ask patients to check their medicine cabinet before phoning and let us know if they have a build-up of any drugs so that we can adjust the quantities accordingly and bring all of their repeats into line. This helps us to make sure everyone receives the right medication in the correct quantity in a timely way.
“NHS POD is also helping us to reduce wasted medicines, saving vital funds which can then be spent on other important NHS services.”
From this week, NHS POD will be available to patients registered at six surgeries, which is the equivalent of 36% of Great Yarmouth and Waveney’s population. It will be rolled out further over the coming months, with people who receive repeat prescriptions invited to use the service once their practice has joined.