If you are on regular medication from your GP which you collect from the medical centre dispensary:
- Order your repeat medication in good time before leaving BFG, demand will be high.
- Register with a GP as soon as you arrive back in the UK, and book an appointment to discuss your repeat medications. Your new GP may not issue a repeat prescription without seeing you, and you can wait up to three weeks for an appointment in some areas.
- Some medications require a special agreement between a GP and the local hospital before the GP is allowed to prescribe them for you, this is known as a shared-care agreement and it can delay your medications. Pharmacy staff will advise you if your medicines are likely to need a shared-care agreement when you move back to the UK, but if you have any concerns, then please give us a call and check.
If you are on regular medication from the German hospital which you collect from the German Pharmacy (Apotheke):
- Most medications that are available in Germany are also available in the UK. However, there are a small number of medications that your German doctor may prescribe for you that are not currently on the UK market. You can call Central Pharmacy to enquire about this if you have any concerns.
- If you regularly receive medications on a hospital prescription, you must ensure you go back to the UK with an adequate supply. You may have to wait 3 months or more for referral to a NHS consultant in order to get a further supply. Tell your consultant when you are planning to leave Germany, and ensure that you attend all appointments as scheduled. If you choose to leave BFG without collecting your final supply of medications, it will not be possible for these to be sent on to you, and running out of medication is unlikely to cause your NHS referral to be hastened.
Is there anything else I need to know?
- Some items may not be available on prescription in the NHS in certain areas. You may be expected to buy certain things yourself if they are available over the counter.
- If you are taking controlled drugs back into the UK, the maximum amount you can take is 3 months, without additional licensing and documentation.
Paying for Prescriptions in the UK
- The prescription charge is the same in England as it is here: £8.80, increasing to £9.00 on 1st April 2019. Prescriptions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently free.
- Your SSAFA Prepayment Card will not be valid in the UK.
- The NHS Prepayment Card costs £29.10 for 3 months, or £104 for 12 months.
- Low-income patients can apply for help with health costs, including prescription charges.
- If you are eligible for a Medical Exemption Certificate, you may need to apply via your new GP once you arrive in the UK.
- Information on all types of prescription costs and exemptions can be found at: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-prescription-costs
Useful Contact Information:
Central Pharmacy: 05254 982 4985
Bielefeld Dispensary: 05219 254 3868
Hospital Hotline: 0800 588 99 36
Sennelager Medical Centre Reception: 05254 9822414
Bielefeld Medical Centre Reception: 05219 254 3131
What Action Do I Need to Take Now?
3 months before moving
- Gather up all of your medication and consider what you need to order before you leave. Remember to check the expiry dates!
- Find out when your medication review date is. You can ask pharmacy staff for this information, or find it printed on your repeat prescription slip. If you request medication after your review date then the doctor will not be able to prescribe it for you. If you need a review appointment before you leave BFG, book it in good time.
- If you get medications from the hospital, ensure you have a final appointment booked so you can get a supply to take back to the UK.
3 weeks before moving
- Put in your final repeat prescription request. You can do this by phone, or by attending your local dispensary. This will be ready to collect 5 working days after you order it. Please let pharmacy staff know that it is your final order before leaving BFG.
- Settle any outstanding prescription bills at the dispensary.
1 week before moving
- Bring any expired or unwanted medications into the dispensary for safe disposal.
- Check that you have collected your repeat prescription from the dispensary, and that there are no outstanding owings to collect.
- De-register as a patient at your medical centre. This will speed up the process of your new GP getting your notes.
Upon arrival in the UK
- Find your local GP and register as a new patient. Book an appointment for a review with your new GP.
- Ask your GP surgery what the process is for requesting repeat prescriptions. If you wish for your GP surgery to send prescriptions to a particular pharmacy, let them know.
At your first UK GP appointment
- Your new GP needs to request your notes, and these can take time to arrive. To be on the safe side, take all your current medications with you to your first appointment, and keep them in their original packets so the doctor can see what you are taking. This includes creams, eye drops, inhalers and other prescribed items.
- Make it clear to your GP if you are on any regular medications that usually come from the hospital, as hospital referrals can take a long time.
The LLP Pharmacy Team wish you good luck with your move, and a safe journey back to the UK.