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Patient Information Leaflet - Emergency Prescriptions

Repeat medication

We have made a commitment to issue prescriptions, wherever possible, within three working days from receiving the request. Repeat medication can be requested in reception, through your pharmacist, in writing and online. We do not take prescription requests over the phone. You should be aware at least a week in advance that you need a new prescription.

If you have difficulty organising prescription requests, please discuss this with your pharmacist, a relative or neighbour or the receptionist at the surgery.

Our policy regarding emergency prescriptions

We require a minimum of three working days to process requests for repeat medication. This allows the doctor sufficient time to make the checks necessary to ensure your medication is prescribed safely. Wherever possible, this is done by a doctor who is known to you. Making special arrangements to provide “emergency prescriptions” on the day requested interrupts a doctor’s scheduled work, which has a detrimental effect on the service we can provide for other patients, and is potentially unsafe.

The duty doctor is required to assess acutely unwell patients in the surgery and at home if needed, attend to urgent contact from medical professionals in the surgery and hospital, and at times attend to the dying or deceased.

For these reasons, we will issue emergency prescriptions only when it is clinically necessary to do so. In these cases we will issue sufficient medication for 7 days only. Emergency prescriptions will be available to collect from the surgery after 6pm. Emergency prescriptions will not be sent to local pharmacies for collection.

Clinically necessary medication

The GP Partners have reviewed the medicines we prescribe and have produced a list of items for which we will, if necessary, issue an emergency prescription. These are considered by Two Rivers Medical Centre and most other practices to be emergency medications. 

The following are emergency medications, without which you could suffer significant harm:

    • Selective beta -2-agonisits, antimuscarinic bronchodilators and compound bronchodilators for management of acute asthma and COPD exacerbation

e.g. Salbutamol / Ventolin reliever spray, Terbutaline/Bricanyl 

    • Nitrates for management of acute angina

e.g. Glycerol Trinitrate spray or tablets

    • Anti-arrhythmic drug for maintenance of arrhythmias only

e.g. Verapamil / Diltiazem / Amiodarone / Bisoprolol, Propranolol / Atenolol

    • Insulin

    • Adrenaline/epinephrine for acute anaphylaxis

e.g.  EpiPen

    • Corticosteroids for replacement therapy or long-term management of inflammatory disorders

e.g. Oral steroids (Prednisolone / Dexamethasone) if used as a daily, long term medication

    • Palliative care patient medication

i.e. medications required to relieve symptoms in terminal illness

    • Drugs used for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

e.g. Lithium / antipsychotics – Olanzapine, Risperidone

immunosuppressant agents

e.g. tacrolimus

    • Disease modifying agents for active progressive arthritis

e.g. hydroxychloroquine

    • Anticoagulants

e.g. Warfarin / NOAC – Rivaroxaban / Apixaban

    • Dopaminergic and antimuscarinic drugs used in parkinsonism, essential tremor, chorea, tics and related disorders

    • Drugs used for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

    • Anti-epileptic drugs 

e.g. Phenytoin / Sodium Valproate / Levetiracetam

    • Hypnotics used for treatment of fitting

e.g. midazolam

    • Specialised baby milks 

    • Glucagon for treatment of hypoglycaemia

If the medicines you need are not on this list, you should make a routine request and allow a minimum of three working days before collecting your prescription. You will not suffer any significant harm if you are without the medication for this period of time.


Emergency Supply from a pharmacy

The pharmacist can make emergency supply for medications that have been previously prescribed to you. However, this is a private service and is not funded by the NHS so some pharmacies may charge you

Holiday medication

We do not provide emergency prescriptions for holiday medication.

Holidays are often booked weeks or months in advance. When preparing for a holiday you should consider holiday insurance, sun protection, transport and your routine medication. Please ensure you allow a minimum of two working days for your request to be processed.

Please note we can supply a maximum of three months’ medication. If you are travelling for a longer period, you will need to make arrangements to obtain medication locally.

Hospital prescriptions

If you have been seen at the hospital, you may have been given a 2-week hospital prescription. You should not leave the hospital without seeing the hospital pharmacist, as the hospital prescription is not valid in community pharmacies. If the hospital pharmacy is closed, you should make arrangements for the medication to be collected the next day. If a hospital doctor has written to the practice asking your GP to prescribe medication, we require a minimum of five working days to process this request.

Please respect our staff

We have instructed our reception and administrative staff to follow this policy and they are not authorised to make any exception. They are not allowed to interrupt the duty doctor. We will not tolerate any abuse of our staff as they follow these instructions given by the Partners.


Thank you for your cooperation.

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