Below you can find questions about how to order your medication through POD. Please use the links below to jump straight to the question you have, or browse through scrolling down.
If you are interested in questions about other methods of ordering please click here.
Ordering repeat prescription medication through the NHS POD. 2
1. What is the NHS POD?. 2
2. What happens when I telephone NHS POD?. 2
3. Can someone else call on my behalf?. 3
4. Why am I asked questions about what medication I need?. 3
5. How can I collect my medicines?. 3
6. How long will it take for my medication to arrive at the pharmacy once I have ordered it?. 4
7. I didn’t re-order my medication in time and I have run out, what should I do?. 4
8. Can the NHS POD post me my medication?. 4
9. Can the call handlers at NHS POD see all my medical records?. 5
10. I have lots of different medications which run out at different times of the month, do I have to phone POD each time one of them is about to run out?. 5
11. If I don’t order one of my medications this time, will it come off my repeat prescription so I can’t order it later when I need it?. 5
12. Can I phone NHS POD at any time to re-order my medication?. 5
13. My medication is going to run out while I’m on holiday, how can I make sure I have enough?. 5
14. I’m going to be out of the country for several months, how do I order additional medication?. 6
15. I’ve tried calling the NHS POD but the line is busy, what should I do?. 6
16. Can anyone in the Coventry and Rugby area use NHS POD?. 6
17. I’ve been sent a letter from the hospital requesting that my medication is changed. Can I call NHS POD and change my prescription?. 6
18. I don’t use a regular pharmacy. Can I still use POD?. 6
19. I have the same medication every single month so do I still need to call POD every time?. 6
20. What’s wrong with stockpiling medication in case I need it?. 7
21. I am not happy about the service that I received from POD. How can I complain?. 7
1. What is the NHS POD?
NHS Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) is a way for you to order your repeat prescriptions over the telephone.
The POD service is open from 8AM to 5PM Monday – Friday (excluding bank holidays).
The telephone lines are staffed by fully trained call handlers who will go through each item on your repeat prescription and check with you which ones you need to re-order. The medication request is processed while you are on the telephone and is then sent electronically to your GP practice for approval.
Once it has been authorised by your GP, the order will be sent on electronically to your chosen pharmacy, or you can collect the paper prescription from your GP if you prefer.
2. What happens when I telephone NHS POD?
When you telephone the NHS POD, the call handler will ask you
· The name of your GP practice.
· Your date of birth
· To confirm your name and first line of your address.
If it is the first time you have called the NHS POD the call handler will need your permission to access your medical record held at the GP practice.
If you agree to this then your response is recorded so you will not be asked for permission again.
If you do not agree to this then the call handler will not be able to access your medical record to process the repeat prescription request and you will need to use an alternative method to order your repeat prescription.
3. Can someone else call on my behalf?
Yes it is possible for a representative to order medications directly from POD on your behalf.
To protect patient privacy, NHS POD needs to have received authorisation from the patient directly, letting us know that they are happy for POD to access their medical records and that a representative will order on their behalf. POD call handlers can do this through a brief conversation with the patient, and the authorisation will be recorded for future conversations.
If you want to order on someone else’s behalf, and believe that there will be a problem with gaining explicit consent from the patient due to mental capacity, ill health or other issues, please speak with your GP practice in the first instance.
4. Why am I asked questions about what medication I need?
Once they have access to your records, the call handler will ask you which of your medications you need to re-order. You will need to confirm each item individually so that the call handler can record which ones are currently required.
Many medications need to be taken regularly on a daily basis but some only need to be taken when required. The call handlers will ask additional questions about these “when required” medications to ensure that you do not already have sufficient stocks at home.
If you do not order an item because you already have enough in stock it won’t be removed from your repeat prescription list and will still be available to order when you do need it.
If you have several repeat medications which are not all due at the same time our call handlers will be able to help by ensuring that the reorder dates are the same.
Your medication records will also let the call handler know if you are due to review your medication with your GP. If this is the case, they will remind you to contact your GP practice to enquire about this.
5. How can I collect my medicines?
When you speak to NHS POD they will ask you if you want to choose a pharmacy for your prescription to be sent to or confirm that the recorded chosen pharmacy is correct. When your GP authorises the prescription, it will then be sent directly to that pharmacy, using the Electronic Prescription Service. The pharmacy will then prepare your medication for you to collect.
Once you have chosen a pharmacy, NHS POD will record your choice. Whenever you call NHS POD the call handler will check that you are still happy to use the same pharmacy. You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time.
If you do not want to use the Electronic Prescription Service, or do not want to nominate a pharmacy, NHS POD can still process your request. This will mean when your medication order is sent to your GP we will also send a message to the GP practice to print out the authorised prescription for you to collect.
Once you have collected the paper prescription from the GP practice you will be able to take it to a pharmacy of your choice.
6. How long will it take for my medication to arrive at the pharmacy once I have ordered it?
The GP practices ask for at least two working days (48 hours) to process a prescription request. Once it is processed it will be sent directly to your chosen pharmacy or made available as a printed prescription.
You will also need to give your pharmacy time to get your prescription ready or there might be times when your pharmacy does not have one or more of your prescribed items in stock, therefore please leave extra time before you collect your prescription. Individual pharmacies will be able to advise you about this.
If you know your medication has to be specially ordered please let the call handler at POD know so that they can make adjustments in the ordering timescales.
NHS POD, community pharmacies and GP practices all have access to the Electronic Prescription Service Tracker so they can see the status of any electronic prescription at any time. This means if your medication or prescription isn’t where it should be then you can call NHS POD and they can check the Tracker to find out where the delay is.
7. I didn’t re-order my medication in time and I have run out, what should I do?
GP practices ask patients to allow at least two working days for the prescription request to be processed.
However if you have less than two days’ worth of medication left, or three days’ if calling on a Friday then please inform the call handler of this.
Depending on how urgent the prescription is you may be advised to check with the pharmacy later in the day to see if the prescription has already been sent to them or contact the GP practice yourself to explain the situation and see if they can authorise the prescription sooner
POD is also able to follow the journey of the prescription on the Electronic Prescription Tracker and can see where the prescription is at any time so can also advise you if asked.
If you run out of your medication at the weekend or on a bank holiday when POD or your GP Practice is closed, then please call NHS 111, who may be able to issue an emergency prescription to cover the time before services open again.
8. Can the NHS POD post me my medication?
No, the NHS POD only processes your prescription request. It is the pharmacy that will then dispense your prescription and you will still need to get your medication from them.
When you contact POD for the first time, they will ask which pharmacy you would like your prescription sent to. Whenever you phone up after that they will always check if you are still happy with this choice, and you can change pharmacy at any time.
Some pharmacies may have arrangements set up to deliver medication, however this is outside of the control of NHS POD, so please check directly with your pharmacy to see if this is a service they offer.
9. Can the call handlers at NHS POD see all my medical records?
Yes, the call handler has access to your full medical record held at your GP practice. However they will usually only access your repeat prescription screen to process your request. Occasionally they will need to feedback test results to the GP, or check if new medication has been recorded if you have been seen by the hospital. They will inform you of this and ask your permission to access the other parts of your record.
Before accessing any of your medical records you will be asked for your consent to allow the call handler to do so. The call handler will explain the process fully before you are asked to give your authorisation.
10. I have lots of different medications which run out at different times of the month, do I have to phone POD each time one of them is about to run out?
If you have several repeat prescriptions for medications which are not due at the same time our call handlers will be able to help you by synchronising all medications to the same length of treatment (usually 28 days). This means that they will all run out at the same time and you will only need to order once a month.
Some medications which you only take when you need them, such as asthma inhalers which contain 200 doses, will not fit into this schedule, so the call handler you speak to will check what stocks you currently have before making an order.
11. If I don’t order one of my medications this time, will it come off my repeat prescription so I can’t order it later when I need it?
No, your repeat list of medicines won’t be changed, and you will be able to order it again as soon as you need it.
12. Can I phone NHS POD at any time to re-order my medication?
You should phone NHS POD when you have 5 days of your medication left. If you try to order too early then you will be asked to call again five days before you are due to run out. This is so that you can order on a regular cycle.
If you have medication which you need to re-order every 28 days, you should be able to order at the same time every month. If you would like NHS POD to tell you the earliest date that you can order for next time, so that you can make a note on your calendar, please ask.
The NHS POD service is open between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)
If your day for re-ordering medication falls on a bank holiday, you can call POD on the Friday before the bank holiday to order.
13. My medication is going to run out while I’m on holiday, how can I make sure I have enough?
If you are going away and need to order sufficient medication so that you don’t run out during your holiday then you can contact the NHS POD and let them know your situation.
The call handler will obtain details from you regarding your holiday dates and depending on individual circumstances may be able to issue two prescriptions at that time to cover your holiday.
14. I’m going to be out of the country for several months, how do I order additional medication?
GP practices will only issue a maximum of 3 months’ worth of medication if a patient is going to be out of the country. NHS POD follows this policy.
15. I’ve tried calling the NHS POD but the line is busy, what should I do?
Coventry and Rugby NHS POD answers an average of 2,200 calls a day, so there will be times when it takes a bit longer to get through. As with GP practices, the busiest time is as soon as the service opens at 8AM and Monday is the busiest day.
If you have been waiting in the call queue for 3 minutes you will be offered the option for POD to call you back. This will save you waiting on the telephone and the automated system will call you back as soon as a call handler becomes available so that you will not lose your place in the queue. This is a free service. Please listen carefully to the options to ensure that you are called back on the correct telephone number.
You are also able to request a call back by completing an on-line form on the Coventry and Rugby CCG website (link here) Please click on the NHS POD icon and then scroll fully down the page.
16. Can anyone in the Coventry and Rugby area use NHS POD?
This service is currently only available in Coventry and Rugby if your GP practice has signed up to receive prescriptions from NHS POD.
You can see if your practice has signed up on our website here.
17. I’ve been sent a letter from the hospital requesting that my medication is changed. Can I call NHS POD and change my prescription?
NHS POD is unable to add on any new medications or make any changes to your current medications. This needs to be done by your GP Practice.
Please take the letter to your GP to discuss this.
18. I don’t use a regular pharmacy. Can I still use POD?
your nominated pharmacy at every call so that you are aware of the prescription destination.
You can change this at any time which enables patients who do not use a regular pharmacy to still have an electronic prescription sent to a convenient location. POD can also request that your GP prints out your prescription for collection. You can then pick up the prescription from your GP and take it to a pharmacy of your choice to be dispensed.
19. I have the same medication every single month so do I still need to call POD every time?
If you are on regular daily medication there is a possibility that you would be suitable for repeat dispensing which means that the GP would authorise a batch of prescriptions for you to collect directly from the pharmacy each month.
Please discuss with your GP practice or pharmacist to see if you would be suitable for this or speak to the call handler when you next order your prescription.
20. What’s wrong with stockpiling medication in case I need it?
All medication has a shelf life, and if you keep it for too long it may become ineffective or dangerous. If your dosage is changed and you have a stock of the old dosage, it is easy to mix up packets, which could potentially be dangerous.
Having excess medication in the home also poses a safety issue. Medicine should be stored out of reach and sight of children but this may be difficult if you have a large amount of medication at home.
Unused prescription medication costs the NHS money. We estimate that it costs the NHS in Coventry and Rugby £6.5 million every year through the ordering of more medication than is needed. If your medication is changed or stopped then all that medication that you have in your home would be wasted. This is because medication, once supplied to a person, cannot be reused and must be destroyed.
21. I am not happy about the service that I received from POD. How can I complain?
If you are not satisfied with the assistance you have received from a call handler please ask to speak to a team leader who will be able to advise you further or explain the process in more detail.
If you wish to make a formal complaint then please put this in writing to
NHS POD Complaints
NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG
You can also leave feedback on the CCG website page here.