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Managing medication is made easier thanks to the POD

14th November 2018

Local NHS prescription service now extended to cover greater population of residents in West Lancashire.

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Prescription Ordering Direct Service (POD) has now been extended with a base in Burscough to compliment the existing POD in Skelmersdale.

Originally launched as a pilot in Skelmersdale in 2017, the POD, is a prescribing hub which is based within GP practices, with skilled healthcare professionals, who are qualified to deal with prescriptions and offer medications advice. From October this year, a new POD opened in Burscough at the Burscough Health Centre, and the new prescribing service covering 16 of the 18 practices in West Lancashire.

The aim of the POD is to ensure that patients have the safest, most efficient way of ordering prescriptions. Wasted medicines cost the NHS in West Lancashire an estimated £600,000 per year. By introducing the PODs, the CCG is supporting patients on a repeat prescription in the ordering and management of their prescriptions, whilst simultaneously freeing up and reducing pressure on our GPs.

The new POD is based within the Burscough Health Centre and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm. With the Skelmersdale POD based in the Sandy Lane Health Centre and open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm.

Mike Maguire, chief officer at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “Nowhere else in the country covers 90 per cent of their local population through their prescribing hubs.

“We are proud to say that 16 of our practices in West Lancashire are now utilising the prescribing hubs. By adding this service, we not only can continue to address the issue of medicines waste, by ensuring that patients only order what they need, but also free up GPs so that they are able to see more patients, sooner.

Dawn Threlfall, medicines optimisation project support manager, at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “Although other areas of the country also offer prescribing hubs, in West Lancashire our hubs are unique as they provide a greater range of services to our patients.

“Our PODs are a one-stop shop for anything medicine related for our patients. In addition to providing prescriptions, they also provide medicines reviews, picking up patient orders from GP surgeries and helping to deal with all correspondence and discharges from hospital.

“our service in West Lancashire is 100 per cent unique.”

For more information on the PODs and medicines waste, please visit the CCG’s website

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