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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Improving primary care services for Islanders

14 July 2023

In May this year, the Social Security Minister, Deputy Elaine Millar, put steps in place so that Islanders can receive prescriptions to cover a longer period. 

Prior to the change, most medicines could only be prescribed for 30 days before a repeat prescription or GP consultation was required. Now a GP can issue 90 days’ worth of medicines on a single prescription, which can be repeated a further three times. The change to the period of supply will free time for GP practices and reduce costs and inconvenience for Islanders. 

Deputy Elaine Millar said: “It is important that Islanders are aware of the changes that we have made to support their health and wellbeing. Earlier this year I announced the launch of an investment package for pharmacy which is being rolled out over the next three to four years. Two months in, there are already benefits that individuals can access straight away. 

“A new medicines adherence service was launched on 15 May, and under this service there are already 800 Islanders receiving support from their pharmacy to help them take their medicines as prescribed. 

“We have also made changes to increase the period of supply for prescription medicines, which will support Islanders who receive repeat prescriptions. These Islanders can now speak to their GP about issuing a single prescription for up to 90 days’ worth of medicines that pharmacies can dispense all at once. This is good news for patients with long term conditions and will give their GP freedom to prescribe to suit the needs of patients.”

Adrian Noon, Responsible Officer, Primary Care Governance Team, said: “The change to the law to increase the maximum period of supply for prescription medicines will allow GPs to follow guidance issued by the British Medical Association, that the period of supply for any medicine should be selected considering the circumstance of the patient. 

“Some medicines will still need to be issued over 30-days, particularly in the case of a new medicine which the patient may not tolerate or if the patient has a condition that needs frequent monitoring. However most people receiving routine repeat prescriptions need to be reviewed only annually and would be appropriate for a longer period of supply. This will mean fewer trips to the GP practice and to the pharmacy. 

“We expect the transition from a 30-day period to longer 60- or 90-day periods of supply to happen over the coming months as GPs review patient records and update the appropriate prescribing period. I encourage patients to talk to their GPs about their repeat prescription and make sure only the medicines they actually need are being routinely repeated.” 

Changes to the period of supply are part of the £12 million investment package to support community pharmacies which was announced in March. The package of investment includes: 

  • Development of new pharmacy-based services, to provide Islanders advice about medicines and minor ailments. 
  • Funding to employ or train technicians to support the work of the registered pharmacist.
  • Budgets to support registered pharmacists to become prescribers. 
  • Increases to the fee paid to pharmacies for dispensing medicines. 
  • Increased period of supply for prescription medicine.
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