Changes to the way many people order their prescriptions will be coming into effect this year after the cancellation of a service valued by many.

This follows the decision by the Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board to scrap the POD prescription ordering service which allowed members of the public to email or call someone to place their orders. 

Now the healthcare body is in the process of cancelling the service, which will be taking place in a staggered sequence spanning several months. 

It has also provided advice to patients who may have relied on the service for their lifeline medications on what to do next going forward.

When does the POD prescription service end? 

POD will no longer be accepting prescription requests made via email, or through the online form on the ICB website, after Thursday, February 29.

Any emails or form submissions sent after this date will not be actioned and patients are advised to order their medication through their GP practice or via the NHS App.

POD will remain available over the telephone by calling 0333 332 0050.

However, from Friday March 1, lines will only be open between 10am and 3pm.

POD is set to discontinue in its current form on or before June 30, 2024, with the practices and care homes that use the system offering repeat prescribing services instead.

How else to order repeat prescriptions

Once POD has closed there are a few options available to people. 

The quickest way to order repeat prescriptions is through the NHS App, which is free to download on all smartphones and tablets. Information on how to use the app is available online.

Patients can also arrange repeat prescriptions through their practice, either on the phone or via the practice website. Registration may be required for some patients before being able to access online ordering. Patients should speak to their practice directly to find out more.

But for now, people who regularly use POD are advised to continue ordering their medicines in the usual way through POD, and not to order any more than is needed.

The decision to scrap the service has been criticised by some local people. 

Pensioner Dave Tapliss has lived in Swindon with his wife for 70 years and uses the POD service, he said that the move had made him feel like he had been 'left on the scrapheap' 

“It is really upsetting as there is not only me but loads of people dependent on it,” said Dave.