What is a POD?
From the CCG “The prescription ordering direct (POD) service is located within your local community. We are a team of skilled health professionals working across West Lancashire processing prescriptions and providing advice and support to patients and health professionals enabling better outcomes and improving patient safety through appropriate medicines use through the utilisation of appropriate technology whilst delivering cost effective prescribing.
“What is changing? The POD, which was originally trialled in 2017 as a pilot in Skelmersdale, is a prescribing hub based within GP practices, with local healthcare professionals, who are qualified to deal with prescriptions and offer medications advice.
This dedicated team are on hand to help patients deal with any prescription queries that they may have, be it advice on repeat prescriptions, medicines reviews or general medicines queries. The POD is a further tool to help patients in West Lancashire to manage their medicines use and ultimately help the NHS in West Lancashire to reduce wasted medicines.
“Repeat prescriptions are only given after they are agreed with the doctor and entered onto your repeat register. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice is required for processing a prescription. All repeat prescriptions are now processed through West Lancashire CCG POD (prescription ordering direct). The POD is open between 8.30am and 11.30am & 2.30pm and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Patients on long-term medication can order repeat prescriptions in a number of ways:
“Online – Click to register for this easy to use way of ordering your medication. (Please contact the surgery if you need help registering for this). Once authorised this is the most user-friendly method of ordering your prescription. By Hand – drop your repeat slip in at reception with the required items clearly marked. By contacting the POD – telephone 01695 588522. We now send prescriptions electronically to the chemists and we have a daily collection from some of the pharmacies in the area, your repeat prescription can be forwarded to the pharmacy of your choice”.
But things changed with the pharmacies that made home deliveries first charging a fee and then cancelling deliveries because the service lost money. Now, we are seeking clarification of how Prescription Ordering Direct will affect those of us being over 70 and being required to self isolate due to the corona virus. Being reliant on the POD, we must collect our own life saving medications at the dedicated chemist. If we attempt to do that we may breach whatever laws the government introduces to isolate us. It would seem extraordinary if the POD couldn’t be adapted to allow a) repeat prescriptions without request and b) our designated chemist to deliver them to our homes. There may be a cost to the government but how else can we comply with the upcoming stringent imposition of isolation of our age group?
This is an urgent matter requiring a decisive decision. We’ve asked Rosie Cooper MP to raise the issue and hope she can arrange for the peace of mind we require.