If you are prescribed medication, you have the right to choose which pharmacy dispenses it – but not everyone is aware they can nominate a preferred pharmacy or switch from one to another.

It’s particularly important that people understand they have a choice now that most prescriptions are sent and processed electronically.

Old paper prescriptions could be taken away by patients and fulfilled anywhere, but electronic prescriptions are sent to a specific, nominated pharmacy. You can either collect your medicine from your nominated pharmacy or (if the pharmacy offers this service) have it delivered to your home.

You might decide you want to change your nominated pharmacy because you aren’t happy with the service you’re receiving or because collecting from it is no longer convenient for you.

Either way, you can make the decision to move from one pharmacy to another. There are several ways to do so.

Speak to your GP

When it’s almost time for you to order a new prescription, contact your GP to inform them you would like to change your choice of dispenser.

You should do this in advance of needing your medicine so there is time to process the change and your prescription doesn’t get sent to the wrong place. It’s a good idea to allow several working days for the switch.

Find out more about electronic prescriptions

Use the NHS app

If you have the NHS app on your smartphone, you can check and change your nominated pharmacy in moments.

Tap the Prescriptions option at the bottom of the screen and you’ll see whether you already have a nominated pharmacy. Tap again to select a pharmacy or change the one that’s already connected to your NHS account.

Find out more about using the NHS app to order prescriptions

Register with an online pharmacy

Alternatively, you can register directly with an online pharmacy. The best way to do this is usually via the online pharmacy’s website.

Once you’ve nominated an online pharmacy it will receive your prescriptions electronically, then prepare and send your medication to you in the post. Depending on which online pharmacy you choose, you may have the option to collect your prescription from a branch. However, this is not always possible.

View an A-Z of online pharmacies

Share your view

Don’t forget – Healthwatch Bucks wants to hear about your experiences of pharmacies in the county. You can rate and review your pharmacy on our website and the process takes just a few moments.

Give feedback now

Published on 30 Aug, 2022 (updated 29 Apr, 2024)

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One comment on "How to choose or change your nominated pharmacy"

  • Commenter said on 7th October 2023

    I have completed electronic form and sent for new GP registration and put down the wrong pharmacy. I want to stay with my old pharmacy and dont know if new surgery has seen electronic medical form yet. Weekend now do cant check. Can I keep old pharmacy if inform them?

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