Serial Prescriptions (CMS)

“Serial prescriptions” are a new service from the NHS. The doctor issues a 24 week or 48 week prescription, with instructions to give a supply of medication every 4 or 8 weeks. The advantages of serial prescriptions are:

  1. You only have to collect your medication once, all together. At present, some people collect one tablet one week, their inhalers the next week, a different tablet the following week.
  2. The pharmacy can give you your medication early if you are going away for work or on holiday, for example.
  3. It encourages patients to use one pharmacy for their prescriptions, so their pharmacist gets to know them and their medication better.  A complete picture, from months of dispensing all the prescriptions, enables the pharmacist to give a better quality service.  For example, if a recent dose change has not made it onto repeat prescription, or a new prescription disagrees with your regular medication.The pharmacist can also give better advice on the treatments for colds, hay fever, etc.
  4. It saves a lot of administration time and effort in the medical centre and pharmacy. We can spend that time helping you in different ways, for example giving flu vaccinations, helping you to stop smoking, treating you and your family for Minor Ailments, etc.  (We promise we won’t go and play golf!)

You might find it useful to print off this calendar: Aberlour Pharmacy 2017_Calendar

It shows when the serial presciptions will be ready to collect. Ask the pharmacy staff which week we have you in, and then highlight those weeks on the calendar. If you can see that you will be away when your prescription is due to be collected, please contact us before hand and we will make it up early.

The calendar also shows the Aberlour & Craigellachie Local Holidays, Speyside school holidays and other important dates in 2017. The red dates are the NHS Grampian holidays, when pharmacies and medical centres may be closed. (Please tell us if you spot any errors or omissions.

So how can you get a serial prescription?

First of all you need to sign up with the pharmacy for the Chronic Medicine Service (CMS). Please ask any of the pharmacy staff when you are next in the pharmacy, it just takes a few minutes and one signature. Chronic is a medical term meaning “long term”, like blood pressure, underactive thyroid, diabetes.

The pharmacy will then tell the medical centre that you have signed up for CMS and ask the doctor to consider whether you and your medication are suitable for a serial prescription. Please continue to request your medication as usual until you are told a serial prescription is ready for you at the pharmacy.

Can everyone get a serial prescription? Are all medicines suitable for a serial prescription?

Serial prescriptions can be cancelled and / or changed by your doctor after they have been signed, even when they have been partly dispensed. This is what makes the system safe. Every time the pharmacy dispenses a supply of medication for you, the bar code on your paper prescription is scanned and an “authorization to supply” is requested. If your GP has made any changes to your treatment, it will appear on the pharmacy computer screen.

But, even though this is possible, it is a lot better if serial prescriptions are only issued to people whose medication has stayed the same for a few months, and looks like it will stay the same for the coming months. So, once your blood pressure is under control, your blood glucose is on target and your cholesterol level is the envy of vegan triathletes, then your GP may issue a serial prescription.

Medicines that need regular monitoring, like methotrexate, are not usually put onto serial prescriptions.