POD Closure Details and Comms Toolkit


Scan the QR Code above to access the POD Comms Toolkit or click on the link below……


The Communications Plan which will be used to inform the upcoming POD changes to your affected surgery patients is attached as a reduced content toolkit (above), removing those documents that will be used exclusively by affected surgeries.

Patients will be repatriated back to their GP practice in 3 stages, and practices have been grouped together within their PCNs.

The main message being conveyed to the patients is that the way they order their medication is changing and the route surgeries wanting them to order their medication is via the NHS app (The preferred method).Using the NHS app will not be a solution for all, but patients will be encouraged  to ask a relative or friend support them to be able to order via the app. For those who genuinely have no one to support them, there is the option to allow them to drop in their medication request to the surgery, or ask that the pharmacy support them by ordering on their behalf. Ordering via the pharmacy would be a last option and DIHC would like to avoid this where possible.

The NHS app will only allow patients to order medication which is on repeat. Therefore, patients will be directed to ordering any acute or past medication via footfall or the practice website. Patients on acute medication may be moved over to repeat, but this is at the discretion of the practice.

Apart from decommissioning timeline details in the toolkit, it also contains:

  • Leaflets and posters – I would suggest you print some out to inform and support patients to use the NHS app
  • POD flowcharts for acute and chronic conditions that will be used by surgeries

Drop in sessions allowing patients to go into practices will be encouraged. These would be for support on setting up the NHS app and be run by practice staff.

POD operatives are going to support patients who call in by offering a different extension on the phone line dedicated to answering questions regarding the NHS app. This extension will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. They will also add a message regarding this change when the patients of affected practices call into POD.

They have been briefed to advise the patients as follows:

  1. Order via the NHS app – if they are not able to do so, ask a relative or a friend to order on their behalf- If this option is genuinely not suitable, then the following will be advised
  2. Drop off a paper request into the GP practice
  3. Speak to their community pharmacy to see if they would be willing to take the responsibility of ordering the medication for the patient. Surgeries have been advised that the community pharmacy has the right to say no.
Although these provisions have been primarily aimed at POD-ordering surgeries, I would strongly advise all pharmacies to promote the use of the NHS app for patients to order their repeat prescriptions. Pharmacies who are in the vicinity of surgeries in the three cohorts may want to engage with practice staff to see whether more electronic repeat dispensing might be initiated.