Health bosses are calling on people to stop the panic ordering of unnecessary prescriptions as this is stopping people who really need medication from getting the help they need.
Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Telford Clinical Commissioning Group both have separate Prescription Ordering Services, known as POD.
Both services are being flooded with inappropriate requests with people stockpiling and trying to reactivate old prescription requests which are years out-of-date.
Jacqui Seaton, Deputy Executive for Primary Care and Medicines Management at Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “The main problem is that people are trying to order their medicines early and are stockpiling.
“People should not be trying to order if they have more than seven days’ supply left and we will not be issuing longer supplies than they usually have.
Liz Walker, Head of Medicines Management at Shropshire CCG, said: “We have a particular problem with people trying to order inhalers when they haven’t used them for years so they have them ‘just in case’.
“It’s a myth that if you have used an inhaler in the last 10 years then you should ask for one – this is not the case. If you do not currently use an inhaler, and do not have any asthma symptoms, then you do not need to order any inhalers and should not be contacting the PODs or your GP.
“This selfish attitude is preventing people who really need their medication from getting through to the POD services.”
Already both CCGs have issued updated messaging asking people to only call if they have less than seven days’ supply left and there has been media coverage and information shared via social media, but the demand on the PODs is unprecedented.
Additional call handlers have been drafted in at both PODs and to help ease the pressure on the phone lines people are being asked to send an e-mail:
For patients registered with a Shropshire GP practice please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For patients registered with a Telford and Wrekin GP practice please e-mail: email@example.com.
Repeat prescription requests can also be submitted electronically by using the NHS app (download the app and register to use it). Patients can also check their practice website about registering to use ‘patient access’ to submit prescription requests electronically.