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Anyone know what the NHS New Medicine Service is?

(43 Posts)
jacalpad Sat 24-Apr-21 06:07:37

Please does anyone know what the NHS New Medicine Service is? I have prescriptions for my repeat medicines sent from my doctors surgery directly to the pharmacy, who then deliver. My previous pharmacy closed recently, and I am now receiving my meds from a different pharmacy. When they delivered my meds yesterday there was a form attached for me to sign. There was no explanation, and it did not say where to send it back to - but I assume it goes back to the pharmacy. It was a very basic form, a ‘consent to participate in the NHS New Medicine Service’, and only referred to one of my prescribed meds. They refer to this as being a ‘service’ to help provide care. I have searched online, but can only find information for pharmacists and it still doesn’t tell me what it actually is. I’m thinking they may monitor me and ask questions. I don’t know if it is compulsory for me to agree to take part, or voluntary. Please, does anyone know a bit more about this service? TYA!

lemsip Sat 24-Apr-21 07:18:53

You could of course just phone the pharmacy and ask..

but if you are on a new medication they ask if they can phone once a week to see if you have any side effects with it. It is a choice , you do not have to.

lemsip Sat 24-Apr-21 07:20:27

suziewoozie Sat 24-Apr-21 07:41:09

Thanks for the link lemsip that sounds an excellent scheme.

janeainsworth Sat 24-Apr-21 07:58:08

It sounds like another way of diverting patients away from GPs’ surgeries and into pharmacies.
I’m sure there are pros and cons.
Personally I find the atmosphere at my local pharmacy a lot more user-friendly than the impersonal one of the GP practice.

Ashcombe Sat 24-Apr-21 08:02:45

I agree, janeainsworth! My local pharmacy is brilliant and the staff have given unfailingly good service throughout the past year of difficult times. If required, one may have a private consultation with the pharmacist in a separate room. Nothing is too much trouble.

suziewoozie Sat 24-Apr-21 08:06:12

A pharmacist is going to be far better usually in situations like this re both time and knowledge. However my ( practically perfect ) GP practice has its own in-house pharmacist who would speedily answer any medication related queries.

Pittcity Sat 24-Apr-21 08:14:56

Pharmacists are the best people to consult about medication as they are specialists. Anything to take the weight off of the shoulders of GPs is a good thing.

janeainsworth Sat 24-Apr-21 09:30:49

I wonder how the GPs themselves feel about it.
It does seem that pharmacists are gradually taking over the traditional GPs’ role in providing personal, one to one care that GPs used to. Now it seems as though there’s little continuity of care in many GP practices.
At the moment, pharmacists are able to provide a good service because they’re not overwhelmed and because they’re sited in shops where people go anyway rather than in some industrial estate which can only be reached by car.
But if the NHS imposes too great a workload onto pharmacists they will find it just as difficult to provide a good service as many GPs seem to.
Cynical? Yes, I am. Sorry.

keepingquiet Sat 24-Apr-21 09:48:43

So am I. I was ill recently and although the nurse practitioner gave me good advice when I remained ill I asked to speak to a doctor. When he rang he said something I didn't catch which sounded like he was a locum or some referral system.
After chatting for a while about my condition I said he would have to consult the pharmacy as to 'the best course of action.' I thought this was very strange and challenged him on it because he was the GP and since when did they defer to pharmacists? I mentioned a drug I had used in the past and maybe that would work. He agreed that may be what the pharmacist advised? Lo and behold it was the very same drug. But why consult a pharmacist? If I get a similar paper to sign I certainly won't. I haven't spoken to one of my own GPs for over a year-they seem to have disappeared...

janeainsworth Sat 24-Apr-21 10:00:03

There is also a question of accountability/ responsibility.

If something goes wrong with the prescribed medication, who gets sued or brought before their professional regulator?
The doctor who prescribed it, or the pharmacist who provided ongoing supervision?

suziewoozie Sat 24-Apr-21 10:02:49

This service is limited to certain drugs and conditions, is optional for pharmacists and they are paid extra for if. If I didn’t have the practice I have, I’d sign up for it if I started a new qualifying drug as imo I’d be more likely to receive individualised advice with continuity of care. If I wasn’t happy with the service I received, then the GP surgery is available.

jacalpad Sat 24-Apr-21 10:55:51

Thank you all for your very helpful replies. I now have a better understanding. However, I have been on this particular medication for almost a year. My local chemist (Boots) closed down in February and my doctor has started sending my meds to this pharmacy. I don’t feel I qualify as newly on this medication (a diabetic med), but rather new to this pharmacy. I tried ringing the pharmacy, which is not nearby, but they were very unhelpful and difficult to understand. A conundrum!

Riggie Sat 24-Apr-21 11:45:33


This service is limited to certain drugs and conditions, is optional for pharmacists and they are paid extra for if. If I didn’t have the practice I have, I’d sign up for it if I started a new qualifying drug as imo I’d be more likely to receive individualised advice with continuity of care. If I wasn’t happy with the service I received, then the GP surgery is available.

Thats interesting. A couple of times I have been prescribed something new and my regular pharmacist has picked up on it and asked if they can contact me to see how I am getting on with it. I have said yes and had to sign my agreement, but never heard any more. Wonder if they still got paid.

If it happens again (I hope I dont get any mkre meds to add to the mix!!) I will be asking questions.

maddyone Sat 24-Apr-21 13:50:12

janeainsworthyou never miss an opportunity to criticise GPs do you!

janeainsworth Sat 24-Apr-21 14:10:13

If you bothered to read people’s posts properly maddyone you would see that I have never criticised GPs.
I am critical of the NHS as a system and I have great sympathy for GPs trying to deliver a service to patients within the constraints the government imposes on them.

Perhaps you’d like to go through my posts and point out any where I’ve criticised GPs?

janeainsworth Sat 24-Apr-21 14:12:33

I should add, in criticising the NHS system, there are exceptions, the most obvious being the vaccine roll-out which has been amazing.

maddyone Sat 24-Apr-21 14:29:58

I have bothered to read people’s posts properly janeainsworth. I’m afraid I disagree with your assertion.

Pittcity Sat 24-Apr-21 17:34:14

GPs are, as the name suggests, general and so are not specialists in medication. Pharmacists are.
I have worked in a pharmacy and many times the pharmacist has picked up on the GP prescribing something that shouldn't be taken with other medication the patient was already on. GPs are overworked. More and more pharmacists can also prescribe basic medicines like practise nurses.
I see it as the same as being referred to a hospital specialist for a particular ailment.

Gilly74 Mon 26-Apr-21 11:34:29

We signed with Echo to have repeat prescriptions delivered and found it works well. Prescriptions still go through your GP for authorisation & you get reminders when you’re running low. You can still go to your local pharmacy for advice if needed.

Kamiso Mon 26-Apr-21 11:45:57

I’m not sure how I would have got through my recent illnesses without the pharmacist. The GPs had barricaded themselves into the building and only money making treatment was available, and that was with the nurse.

It used to be quite a good caring surgery but now employs a finance manager along with the practice manager and it’s a nightmare! We are told by email that, having undergone a few weeks training, the receptionists are now qualified to make decisions instead of seeing a doctor.

The receptionist who mistakes a ruptured appendix for a gastric bug will be thrown to the wolves. It actually happened to a friend who followed the doctors instructions then they denied it and she was given a warning.

Nanna58 Mon 26-Apr-21 11:55:59

Maddyone , sometimes GPS just seem to invite criticism. My surgery is still only operating telephone consultations unless in extreme circumstances. My last one the receptionist said number would come up as withheld as Dr working from home.It was a problem with distoyand mobility in my foot, something I believed should have been ‘ seen’ but GP disagreed. I can visit a dentist, hairdresser and beautician all at closer quarters than a Dr so cannot understand why they can’t get their act together 🤬

Nanna58 Mon 26-Apr-21 11:57:10

Sorry, distortion and mobility!

wildswan16 Mon 26-Apr-21 12:22:00

I worry that pharmacists are being asked to widen their role so much that standards will be difficult to maintain. The time taken to properly speak to patients who have been advised by their GP to seek help from the pharmacist, is (or should be) considerable. Meanwhile prescription dispensing must continue.

I would also ensure that it is actually a "trained" pharmacist who you speak to. Assistants have a fair amount of knowledge but have not gone through years of degree level training as pharmacists do.

Most GPs would freely admit that pharmacists are much more up to date with medicines than they are - it is their speciality, just as a physio is better able to diagnose some muscular complaints, or an optician more knowledgeable about eye conditions.

alistairric Mon 26-Apr-21 12:52:59

My mother, a nurse for many years, told me "Be nice to the pharmacist, they are the ones that stop the doctors killing you" The degree of training the job required to become a pharmacist, and subsequent on going training means they are highly qualified and up to date with their field.