Covid-19 Out of Hours News

Shepton Road, Oakhill, Radstock, BA3 5HT

Tel: 01749 840 233

Email: Surgery, Dispensary

Contact Details


Dispensary Collection Times

Below is an outline of the prescription process to allow patients to fully understand why prescription requests take 72 working hours. Our team work extremely hard in trying to ensure our services run as effeciently as possible and hopefully you will find these changes improve the service. 

Please note that all prescription enquires are now diverted to come through our reception phone lines. This will free up additional time for our dispensary team. Our dispensary team will return your call if our reception team are unable to answer the query. 

Why does it take 72 working hours (excluding weekends) to get my prescription?

Requesting the prescription - A prescription can be requested in a number or ways, email/patient access/ NHS app or via paper placed in the box outside on the wall at the surgery. The team are working 8.30am – 6.30pm every day to process prescriptions with most often two members of staff working in dispensary.

Checking by dispensary - From the point of your prescription being received, it needs to be checked. The dispenser will log into your patient record and check the medication you have requested is due and is on repeat. If this is the case it can move onto the next stage. If this isn’t the case, it is required to be seen by the GP.

Checking by GP – for prescriptions not on repeat or the medication is not due to be issued as the patient has requested the medication too early, the dispenser needs to raise a request for this with your GP. The GP is sent an electronic query and the dispenser waits for a response. Our GP’s are busy seeing patients, completing phone calls and therefore this can only be checked outside of patient surgery times. Therefore a response is not given immediately.

Ordering medication – we are unable to hold a lot of medication onsite both because we have a small dispensary as well as stock control reasons (e.g. short expiry dates). Therefore most medications will need to be ordered. Drug orders are placed twice a day with the hope that the medication will be delivered on the next delivery. Pre-covid the delivery drivers of drug companies would deliver twice per day. But within these challenging times there is a national shortage of HGV and van drivers, which impacts on medication not reaching the drug company depot, then van drivers are not available to deliver to our dispensary. Sometimes we may not get your medication until the second day.

Making up the prescription – once the medication is on site, this can be checked, bagged, and placed ready for collection. This is another time-consuming process which involves scanning all drugs into the system and then to dispense the item/s we need to scan the items out of the system to generate labels.  New items and different brands of items need to be updated from scratch with makers name, cost of drug, pack size and how many we are taking into stock. At this point the dispenser prints off the label for each drug which states the instructions from the GP on how to take it. These are required to be applied to every drug and a final label printed for the bag.

Collection of medication – your medication is now ready for collection. Once you arrive to collect it, our dispensary team complete one final check. Your name and details are taken, the dispenser then checks the prescription against the drugs that have been bagged for collection to make sure it is correct. Signs off the process and dispenses the medication over to you.

We process between 750 – 1000 prescriptions per week. This is a large workload.

Our dispensers also need to check, document and pack away drug orders every day. They need to go through an additional process for controlled drugs dispensing. They are answering medication queries from patients via emails and phone, plus completing administration processes that are required in a dispensary behind the scenes to operate under good practice guidelines.

What we ask from you:

Please allow 72 working hours – this doesn’t include weekends, if you drop off a prescription on Friday, it will not be ready until Wednesday the following week.  

Please order your medication one week before you are due to run out.

Please treat our team with respect. We ask our team to be respectful to patients and we expect the same from our patients to our staff. Hopefully as you can see from these details outlined above it is clear that our dispensary team are working incredibly hard behind the scenes, doing their best to help you, including when the dispensary shutters are closed.

Finally, a big thank you to all those who month in and month out have shown understanding and thoughtfulness to the team when placing your orders and interacting with us virtually or face to face.


New hours for medication collections from 4th January 2022 below:  



3pm - 6pm


3pm - 6pm


3pm - 6pm


3pm - 6pm


3pm - 6pm


Privacy notice

Under data protection law we must tell you about how we use your personal information. This includes the personal information that we share with other organisations and why we do so. Please also view our main GP practice privacy notice. This additional privacy notice provides details about the personal information that we are sharing with NHS Digital for its General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection. For more information about this see the GP Practice Privacy Notice for General Practice Data for Planning and Research.