Delivering as a CCG

Big Health Debate: waste medicines

As part of the self-care roadshow practice tour, we also took the opportunity to talk to people about medicine waste – asking a series of questions to examine their understanding of repeat prescribing processes and to also understand patients’ repeat prescribing habits.

The questionnaire aim was to find out about patient’s experiences and habits around prescribing so we can begin to address why so much money is spent on medicine
that is wasted. The findings included

  • More patients are beginning to use on-line services to order their repeat prescriptions but the majority still go in person to the GP practice. Could may be due to lack of understanding or awareness of access to on-line services and it would therefore be interesting to correlate this data with the number of patients registered to use on-line services at each of the practices.
  •  The majority of respondents only receive medication that they have requested; this is reassuring as it shows that people are aware and taking responsibility to only order what they require when requesting repeat medicines.
  • Majority of respondents said yes that their doctor or pharmacist explains why they are prescribed each of their medicines which would suggest that patients are being encouraged to take responsibility for managing their illness and long term conditions.
  • Over half of the respondents said their usual pharmacy doesn’t offer them a medicines review to discuss their medicines. This may be because patients don’t have regular contact with their pharmacy or that patients don’t see the importance of a health review unless their condition deteriorates or changes.

We will be looking at repeat prescribing in more detail as part of our financial challenge and the feedback from this engagement activity will feed into a wider engagement plan. In tandem with this, we also created a set of pdfs and digital communications collateral and shared it with our PPGs for use on practice noticeboards, community boards, web and social media.

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