Ask Andrew: the most popular questions to our digital pharmacist
- Does this cost the NHS money?
Using Now Patient does not cost the NHS any more money than using a high street pharmacy would. Every pharmacy in the country is paid a set fee for each item they dispense. It is then up to that pharmacy what they do with that money. At Now Patient we’ve decided to use it to deliver your items free of charge. It means that we make less, but you get a seamless door to door service and the NHS does not lose out on a penny.
- Where do you cover?
At present Now Patient is only able to dispense prescriptions to patients in England. We do not currently deliver to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
- What is the Summary Care Record?
The Summary Care Record (or SCR) is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. It can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient’s direct care.
Now Patient need access to your SCR to your NHS repeat prescriptions to our app. This enables you to order them directly from us rather than having to go to your GP.
- What is EPS?
EPS is the NHS’s Electronic Prescription Service. It allows GPs to send your prescriptions electronically to your chosen pharmacy. The NHS have estimated EPS has saved them £130 million over the last 3 years. You can find more information on EPS here.
- Is this an NHS service?
Yes, Now Patient provides NHS services though our registered NHS pharmacy (General Pharmaceutical Council reference: 1121886).
- Is the service really free?
There is no charge for using the Now Patient ordering and delivery service. It is completely free. The only cost that you might incur is if you have to pay for your NHS prescriptions. In this case we are required by law to pass on the NHS prescription fee.
- Are Now Patient and Now Pharmacy the same thing?
Now Pharmacy is the registered NHS pharmacy that dispenses all the orders placed through the Now Patient app. The Now Patient app is a separate app that is available for you to manage your repeat prescriptions and access other services.
- What are the benefits of the Now Patient service?
There are three main benefits to the Now Patient service:
You can order your NHS repeat prescriptions from anywhere using the Now Patient app. No more long trips to the GP to order your meds.
The medications are delivered direct to the door so you can avoid a trek down to the pharmacy.
Now Patient users can access free appointments with NHS-registered GPs through the app.
- What is an internet pharmacy?
An internet pharmacy, such as Now Patient, is one that allows you to order your medications online and will deliver them to your door, saving you the time and trouble of going to your GP or local pharmacy to pick them up.
- Can I register my child?
Yes. You can do this by logging into the app, tapping the menu button and selecting “Family Accounts”. You can then tap the big blue + to create a new child account.
- What if I don’t have a smart phone?
If you don’t have a smart phone or tablet you are still able to use Now Patient to dispense your medications. The easiest way to do this is to go to your GP as usual and ask them to send your prescription by EPS to your pharmacy of choice (Now Pharmacy). The request will then come to us and we will process it, sending your items to you with no delivery charge.
- What happens after I register?
Once you have registered, Now Patient will retrieve your repeat prescription details and upload them into the app. You will then be able to order your medications using your phone or tablet. This process usually takes less than two days but at peak periods of demand can take up to a week. If your medications are due within the next seven days please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How do I register with you?
There are three ways you can register:
Download our app from Apple’s app store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and enter your details.
Use our simple online registration form.
Call us on 0808 301 3552.
- How do I set up reminders to order my medication?
To do this, please log into the app and select “Manage Medication”. Tap on your medication and select the “Add Reminder” button.
- What if my GP doesn’t allow pharmacies to order on my behalf?
Under NHS England rules, every patient has the right to choose which pharmacy will dispense their medication. If you have ordered using the app, you are exercising your right to have Now Patient deliver your medications. If your GP is preventing this, they may be in breach of the NHS regulations. You should firstly contact your GP to re-state that it is your patient preference that you use Now Patient and they should not be preventing this. You should also contact us at email@example.com and we will assist you in the communications with the GP.
- What if my GP doesn’t use EPS?
If your GP does not use EPS it may be more difficult to fulfil your order. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
- What happens after I order?
Every EPS repeat prescription request must be approved by your GP before we can process it and dispense your items. You do not need to do anything about this. We handle this communication and send your prescriptions to the GP on your behalf.
In the vast majority of cases, the prescription is signed off by the GP within 48 hours and we are able to deliver your medicines shortly after. In some cases, however, the GP does not sign off the prescriptions within this timescale. If this happens, we will chase the GP on your behalf. We may need to contact you to discuss your individual case.
- I have to pay for my prescriptions. How do you take payment?
If you order using the app you will be able to pay using credit or debit card. If you order another way (such as direct with the pharmacy) we will email or text you a payment link.
- I am exempt from paying for prescriptions; how should I tell you about this?
We will ask you for your exemption status during the registration process. You can also confirm your exemption when you order your medications using the app.
- Not all my medications have been loaded on the app, what should I do?
We are only able to upload medicines that your GP has marked as for repeat prescription. You may have other items that you have regularly but are not designated as repeat. These will not be automatically uploaded to the app.
If you believe that you should have other medications on the app, please contact us directly at email@example.com or through the app’s chat function and a member of our support team will be delighted to help.
- How long before my medication is due should I order it on the app?
The ideal time to order is 7-8 days before the medication is due. Any earlier than this and your GP may not sign off your prescriptions as it is too soon after your last instalment.
- How do I order using the app?
You need to log in using the details and password you entered during the registration process. Please then tap on the “NHS Repeat Prescriptions” button and you will be taken to the ordering screen containing your repeat medications.
- How long after registering before I can order my repeat prescription?
The process of uploading your medications to the app usually takes less than two days but at peak periods of demand can take up to a week. If your medications are due within the next seven days, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Am I eligible for the free courier service?
In order for an order to be eligible for the free courier service it must contain 3 or more items and also be too large to fit through a standard sized letterbox.
- Not all my items have been delivered. What should I do?
If not all your items have been delivered, it is likely that the GP has not signed certain items off. This may be for a number of reasons, usually that it is too soon since your last instalment of medicines, they would like to review the prescription with you directly or the prescribed course has expired. If this happens, we will continue to chase outstanding items on your behalf but we may be in touch to direct you on any actions that you need to take.
- Is delivery free?
Yes, there is no delivery charge for using Now Patient.
- Can you deliver to my work address?
Yes. When you make your order using the app you can specify which address you would like the delivery to be sent to.
- Can you leave the delivery with a neighbour?
Due to patient protection guidelines, unless we are instructed by you to do so, we are not able to leave the package with a neighbour. If you would like the package to be left with a neighbour, please contact us at email@example.com to arrange.
- What happens if I am not in when the delivery arrives?
If the package fits through your letterbox the order will be delivered so it is waiting for you upon your return. If it will not fit through the letterbox, if you are eligible for the free courier service the courier company will be in contact to arrange redelivery. For all other orders, unless otherwise instructed it will be returned to the nearest Royal Mail sorting office for collection.
- Can I choose a delivery time?
If you are eligible for the free courier service you will be contacted with a delivery time slot which you can rearrange if that time is not convenient. For all other orders, due to the nature of Royal Mail’s service, we cannot guarantee a specific delivery slot.
- How long does it take from ordering my prescription to receiving the medication?
This is dependent on when your GP signs off the prescription request but typically 5 working days from time of ordering.
- How will you get my medications to me?
Medications are delivered using the Royal Mail 48 hour tracked seIf your order is for 3 or more items and the package is too large to fit through a standard size letterbox we will deliver to you using a courier service. This service will text you in advance to let you know when they are delivering and you will have the opportunity to rearrange at your convenience. All other orders are delivered using the Royal Mail 48 hour tracked service.
- How do I get a referral if further investigation or treatment is needed?
If you need specialist attention, the GP will be able to discuss the option of onward referral to the right kind of consultant for your condition. You will be issued with a referral letter to arrange an appointment with a private consultant or to pass on to your private medical insurance provider.
- Can I select which GP I have my consultation with?
Yes, you can search for a male or female GP and select which GP you would like to have your consultation with.
- Will my NHS GP be informed of any consultations I have through the App?
In line with our terms and conditions, we request that you provide your NHS GP details. Any notes made, prescriptions or referrals issued by our GP’s will then be sent to your own GP Surgery to be added to your NHS records to support your continuity of care.
- What quality of care will I receive?
Now Healthcare Group is founded on delivering the highest quality of service and we operate under strict regulation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
- What type of doctor will I be talking to?
All are highly experienced General Practitioners who are registered with the General Medical Council, work within the NHS and are on the Performers List and have a Royal College of Medical Practitioners certificate.
- What happens if my consultation overruns?
Your consultation with the GP will end at 8 minutes. A timer will appear on your screen for the final 2 minutes of your consultation so you are aware of the remaining time. Should you wish to have more time, another consultation can be booked.
- How long does my consultation last?
Your consultation with one of our GPs is for 8 minutes.
- How do I book an online GP consultation?
Once you have had your first order of medications delivered Now Patient will automatically assess your eligibility for free online GP consultations. You will then be able to book an online consultation by visiting the “Book Appointment” area of the app and following the instructions there.
If you are not able to book a consultation please contact us via the in-app chat function or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
- How Can I contact your Data Protection Officer?
You can contact NHGs Data Protection Officer at email@example.com
- What communications will you send me when I register?
We will send you email and text communications related to your sign-up (e.g. a welcome email and a confirmation when your data is successfully uploaded). In addition, if you place an order via the app you will receive email and text status reports on the progress of that order.
- I want you to send me the data you hold on me. How do I do this and what is the format?
To request the data that NHG hold on you please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be sent an online request form to complete. Your request will be processed within 7 days. Data is supplied in excel format.
- How do I request that my data is deleted?
If you would like to request your data to be deleted, please send your request to email@example.com. You will then be sent an online request form to complete. Your request will be processed within 7 days.
- Where is my data being held and who has access to it?
- Where can I learn more about GDPR?
To learn more about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) please visit: https://ico.org.uk/
- Does NHG make commitments to its users with regards GDPR?
Yes. The GDPR requires that controllers and processors provide sufficient guarantees to meet key requirements of the regulation. NHG has taken the proactive step of providing these commitments to all users as part of their agreements.
- What Is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is effective from 25th May 2018. GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive and is a single comprehensive EU-wide Law that governs the use, sharing, transfer and processing of any personal data that originates from the EU.
- What happens if my GP gives me a paper prescription?
If you have a paper prescription you should ask your surgery to recreate it as an EPS one and send it to us. Alternatively, the surgery can fax a copy of it to us and also place it in the post to Now Pharmacy, 621 Prescot Road, Liverpool L13 5XA.
- For how long will you remain my nominated pharmacy?
Now Patient will remain your nominated pharmacy until you actively transfer your nomination to somewhere else.
- Can my GP or previous pharmacist tell me which pharmacy to use?
No. Under NHS England rules, every patient has the right to choose which pharmacy will dispense their medication without direction from GPs or pharmacists. If your GP or pharmacist attempts to influence you, they may be guilty of breaching the NHSE Pharmacy Direction rules. You should re-state that your preference as a patient is to use Now Patient to dispense your medication and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can support you in this matter.
- What if I change my mind and want another pharmacy to dispense my medications?
Now Patient are not able to change your nominated pharmacy. If you would like another pharmacy to dispense your prescriptions you will need to get them, or your GP, to change your nomination. Until this change has taken place Now Patient will continue to dispense and deliver any EPS prescriptions that are sent to us on your behalf.
- How do I nominate Now Pharmacy as my pharmacy of choice?
By registering with Now Patient using the app, website or phone you are automatically nominating Now Pharmacy as your pharmacy of choice to dispense any EPS prescriptions.
- How can I contact you if there is an issue?
You can contact us through the in-app “Ask a Question” function or by emailing email@example.com.