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GPs has asked Pharmacists not to request certain medications for patients. This started on 6th of Feb 2023. 

FAQ: Changes to the Medication Request Process at Bell Pharmacy

Q: How was it before?

A: Before, Bell Pharmacy used to request medications from surgeries, and the patient would receive a SMS once the medications were ready or delivered. This process continued unless the GP informed the pharmacy of any changes to the medication.

Q: How has it changed now?

A: The Pharmacies only requests repeated medications such as blood pressure or insulin. The patient needs to request variable medications such as Gaviscon or a blue inhaler or their pain killers directly from the surgery and wait a few days for the script to reach the pharmacy.

Q: Is this a bad rule?

A: Maybe, this change helps reduce medication wastage as variable repeats are only requested when needed.


Q: Did Bell Pharmacy make this rule?

A: No, the surgeries have taken responsibility for patient requests and relieved some pressure from the pharmacies. Bell Pharmacy was proud of the full responsibility they had for medication requests, but they are still 50% responsible for managing the process. 

Q: Is there a delay in the supply of variable medications?

A: It is possible, as the surgeries have taken over the responsibility for these requests. However, Bell Pharmacy will use the resources available to reduce any delays.

Q: Does this rule apply to all pharmacies?

A: Yes, this rule applies to all pharmacies and patients need to request variable medications directly from their surgery.


Q: Which surgeries are doing this?

A: Currently, only surgeries in Network 5 (Tredegar, St Stephen, Grove Road, Ruston, and Harley) are implementing this change. St Stephen has been taking this rule very easy but it seems they are now following the hard policies. 


Q: Why are the surgeries doing this?

A: The main reason is to put patients in control of their medications. However, it might always result in this. 


Q: Did Bell Pharmacy object to this change?

A: Yes, Bell Pharmacy did object to the idea of taking their responsibility away. We beleived surgeries are busy enough, but eventually GP Surgereis made their final decision. We tried for certain items to be added to the list of medications that we  can still request, such as insulins and stoma bags. We will continue to push for more items to be added, but we believe this change will ultimately benefit patients by giving them more control over their medications.

Q: What will Bell Pharmacy do to help?

A: We will assist you by giving you emergency supply if needed. However, we do our best to send you a text reminder to remind you to use your NHS app to put a request through for whatever items they were due. We will also advise you to ask for Repeat Dispensing Service  (RDS) meaning your GP will send us prescriptions for 6 months worth of all your medications so all you have to do to call us at the Pharmacy and ask us to assemble them for you. After 6 months or 6 rounds of repeats (sometimes can be 3, 4 or more depending on your GP), then you put another request through for further months and it goes on. 

Q: What future holds?

We could be facing into a direction where surgeries stop alltogether everything a pharmacy can request. We beleive this is heading a wrong direction. Pharamcies need to be in charge of managing patient's medications at least to some extend. At the moment Bell Pharmacy will do its best to make sure this does not happen. Similarly, we will be speaking to the Pharmacists in these GP surgeries, Doctors, CCG and LPC to make sure patients that are not good with technology or have language barriers are excluded from this rule. Similarly, we will continue to advise surgeries to add items to the list of medications that we are allowed to request on behalf of patients.  

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