Prescription Ordering Direct Service (POD)

POD Closure Announcement

The Prescription Ordering Direct service will be closing at the end of June 2024, with online ordering closing mid-April.  Further guidance and information will be added to this website, and your GP practice will contact you in due course. Please DO NOT contact your GP practice, you will be contacted directly in the next few weeks. Continue to place your prescription order as you have been doing until you are contacted.  Whilst the POD service continues to operate until the end of June, there may be delays in the usual turnaround times for repeat prescriptions.

In preparation for the closure of the service, we would urge those who haven’t already to sign up for the NHS App or Online access to your GP practice (SystmOnline/Airmid). These apps allow you to access a range of NHS services, including ordering repeat prescriptions and nominating a pharmacy you would like to collect them from. It’s simple to use and will allow you to continue ordering your prescriptions online.

You can download the NHS App to your mobile device via the App Store or Google Play. For more information on the NHS App, please visit

Prior to the closure of the POD service the turnaround times for repeat prescriptions may be delayed. Please try to ensure that you have the recommended 7-10 days’ worth of medication left when placing your online order to allow for this.

FAQs – POD Closure Announcement

  • Why is the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service closing?

    NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) has taken the decision to close the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service from 30 June 2024.

    Repeat prescription ordering services are already provided by individual GP practices, who are contracted to provide these services to their patients. GP surgeries now have better access to pharmacy support and more online repeat prescription services have become available, for example GP websites and the NHS app.

    Further information about this decision can be found here.

  • When will this change happen?

    The NHS Norfolk and Waveney POD service will no longer be available from 30 June 2024. However, as GP practices transition to their own services, some practices may stop using POD sooner than this date. Patients will be notified by their GP practice when their practice changes its repeat prescription ordering process.

  • Where can I get my repeat prescriptions now?

    This will depend on each individual practice. In general, repeat prescriptions can be ordered in the following ways:

    • On the NHS app or by logging into your NHS account at
    • Online via your GP practice website and/or online services
    • Submitting a written request at your GP practice

    Please read the leaflet to find out about all the options for arranging your repeat prescriptions or speak to your surgery, as different options may be available depending on your GP practice.

    POD will be able to provide you with further information on your available options in due course.

  • I cannot use digital platforms; how can I get my repeat prescription?

    We understand that not everyone has access to digital platforms or may choose not to access online services. These should be used wherever possible.

    Every practice is setting up methods to enable patients to order their prescriptions using various methods.  POD will be able to advise on your practice’s preferred methods.

  • How do I use the NHS App?

    You can get help for the NHS app by looking at the help pages on the NHS website which can be found at

    You may already have the NHS App – if you had a Covid Pass in the past this was available in the App.  You may need to complete some further registration steps.

  • I would like to access digital services but I’m not sure how. What support is available?

    If you would like some help with using the NHS App, there are several places you can access support including libraries or Digital Champions at your GP practice.  POD will also be able to advise on this during the transition period.

    Further information will be added to this section as it becomes available.

  • Someone else helps me with my prescription request – how will this work?

    A friend or family member can register for “proxy access” to help order your medication.  The GP practice will need to help set this up and authorise your proxy to do this.  They will need to take some identification into the GP surgery to set up proxy access.

  • I have tried using the NHS App but I can’t see the medication I want to order. What do I do?

    Not every medication prescribed for you will show on the NHS app as a repeat medication. Some medicines are only issued as one-off prescriptions and your GP may want to discuss your usage of them before they issue another prescription.

    If your repeat prescription has reached its maximum number of issues, it may not show on the NHS App. If you need to have a regular review, for example of asthma or diabetes, you may not be able to order a repeat prescription until you have your review.

    If you cannot see the medicine that you wish to order or you can see it but cannot request a repeat prescription, please contact your GP practice who will be able to review the medication and advise you accordingly.

    You can only order repeat prescriptions issued by your GP practice – you will not be able to order medications that have been issued to you by any other NHS provider such as a hospital or community services.

  • Do I need to see my doctor before getting my repeat prescription?

    Your GP or clinician will sometimes need to review your request to check that the prescription is still appropriate for you. They may contact you to review your request before it is approved.

    This is because GP practices need to make sure the medicines they prescribe for you are still appropriate, and they also have a duty to reduce medicines wastage.

    Please make sure you allow at least 7-10 working days between requesting your repeat prescription and the date when you need it.

  • How long will it take to process my prescription?

    Please make sure you allow at 7-10 days between requesting your repeat prescription and the date when you need it.  Your GP practice will usually process a request in 1-2 working days and pharmacies also require time to dispense and prepare your prescription for you.

    During the transition period you may find that waiting times for POD increase.

  • Are there other ways to get my regular prescription?

    If your medicines do not change regularly, you may be able to use electronic Repeat Dispensing where prescriptions can be authorised for a longer duration – usually 6 or 12 months – and then collected from the pharmacy without needing to order every month.  POD can discuss your suitability for this service.

  • My pharmacy used to order my prescription for me, can this happen again?

    Pharmacies are facing considerable work challenges and do not have the capacity to routinely take on this work.  If they have ordered your medicines due to additional support needs, then this should continue.

  • Who can I speak to about this change?

    For general queries and support about the POD service transition, please contact POD on 01502 718615.

    To contact about a general query or complaint contact NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB


    Phone: 01603 595857

    Address: NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB, County Hall, Martineau Ln, Norwich, NR1 2DH

Is my GP Practice using POD?

NHS Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) allows patients to easily order repeat medications over the phone or online.

There are currently 15 practices using POD in Great Yarmouth and Waveney and 2 in West Norfolk. If your practice is not listed below please order your prescriptions using the methods your practice uses. 

You can view the practices currently using the POD service by clicking on the boxes below:

Order using POD

Call: 01502 718615 (Great Yarmouth and Waveney) or 01553 605728 (West Norfolk). Calls are charged at standard UK rates.

Lines are open 8.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. 

Mondays are the busiest day, if you can call later in the week you are likely to have a shorter wait time. POD phone lines are usually quietest on a Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

POD Service – Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I use the NHS App to place my prescription order?

    You can download the NHS App to your smartphone from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Sign up for an account and you can use this to order your medicines.  If you had a Covid Pass you may have the NHS App already.  You can also place your order online if you can’t use a smartphone - 

  • When should I order my medication?

    Contact POD to place your medication order when you have 7-10 days medication supply left.

    If it is earlier than this, you may be asked to phone back when you have 7-10 days supply left.

    The whole process from placing your order to collecting medicines from the pharmacy can take several days, so try not to leave it less than 7 days.

  • How do I order early if I’m going on holiday for example?

    Please advise the call handler of the reason for ordering early and they will advise if the order can be processed.

  • It’s not convenient for me to call during your opening hours. How can I order?

    Please use the NHS App which is available 24 hours 7 days a week. 

  • How can I order all of my medications at the same time?

    If you find that your regular daily medicines are running out at different times, please ask the call handler about synchronising your medicines. This should mean one trip to the pharmacy and fewer phone calls to POD.

  • What training do POD call handlers have?

    All our specialist staff have training in prescription management and ordering, and complete regular competency checks.

    Call handlers are supported by Pharmacy Technicians who can provide clinical input when required.

    Our call handlers are not able to give you any medical or medicines advice but will signpost you appropriately.

  • How do I change my pharmacy?

    All patients have the right to decide where their prescriptions are dispensed. The call handler will confirm your nominated pharmacy or appliance contractor with you every time you place an order. If you wish to change it, please advise them.

    You can also change it as a one-off, for example if you need your prescription dispensing whilst on holiday in England.

  • I have additional needs or require interpretation – what do I do?

    POD has access to translation services, which includes British Sign Language. Alternatively, by placing your order online, the form will translate into your internet browser language.

    We have some versions of our patient information in different languages at the bottom of this web page. Please contact us if you require information in another language or format.

    If you have other additional needs, please let the call handler know and they can discuss this with your further.  

  • How do I make a complaint?

    Please get in touch with our Contact Us team on 01603 595857 or email:

Healthwatch Consultation Outcome

In October 2023 the ICB launched a survey for people to have their say on proposals to close the POD service. The ICB asked service users, their families and carers how they might be impacted if the POD service were to close, and what support they might need in the future.

The survey was available in local pharmacies, GP surgeries, libraries, printed in local newspapers, and available online and by phone. ICB staff were also consulted on the proposals over the summer. In total, 2,746 responses to the survey were shared with Healthwatch Suffolk, who produced a report to inform the ICB’s decision making.

Key themes can be found in the Healthwatch Suffolk report here or read more here.