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In this section we offer you advice on the ways in which you can speak up about the support which you receive. This might involve making a complaint, but could involve giving positive feedback to the people who are supporting you.
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Always talk to your pharmacist or GP about any issues you have with taking medication, and about ways of helping you to remember when to take it.
If your doctor has prescribed you a medication, it's because they think it will help you. It's important to take your medication, and follow the instructions given to you by your doctor, or on the label on the packet.
If you have any questions about the medicines you have been prescribed, you can speak to the pharmacist at your local pharmacy. They will be able to explain what your medicines are for, and how to take them. They can also advise you on any over-the-counter medicines you might buy, and give you advice on treating minor illnesses or injuries. If they aren't able to help, or think you need more medical advice, they will recommend that you speak to a doctor.
Your GP (family doctor) will also be able to help with questions about medication. You may feel that you no longer need your medication, but you shouldn't stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first, unless you are experiencing serious side-effects in which case you should speak to your GP as soon as possible.
Normally you will have to pick up your prescription slip from the doctor, and take it to the pharmacy to collect your medication.
However, if you have medicines that you regularly take (a repeat prescription), your doctor and pharmacy may have a repeat prescription service. This means that your medicines will automatically be ordered for you, and will be ready to pick up at the chemist when you need them. Check with your GP or pharmacist to see whether they offer this service.
Additionally, if you get regular prescriptions, the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) may be able to save you time by avoiding unnecessary trips to your GP. EPS makes it possible for your prescriptions to be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice.
Many pharmacies also deliver repeat prescriptions to your home if you have difficulty getting out of the house. There amy be a charge for this service.
Some people forget to take prescribed medication, or take it in the wrong way, which can put their health at risk.
One way to help you to remember to take your medication is to keep a diary or planner, and tick off each dose as you take it. If you or the person you care for has difficulty remembering to take medication, you could also look into memory aids such as memo minders. Memo minders allow you to record messages with daily reminders. For more information, visit our page on Technology for independent living and visit our page Things to help me remember for lots of different memory aids and medication reminders.
Your local pharmacist may be able to help with solutions to help you remember to take your medication.
If you need help to take prescribed medicines, and you are unable to leave your home and get about, your local district nursing team can help you.
District nurses can visit you at home to help you with medication, including medication which needs to be taken via an injection. They can also help you with dressings on any wounds or sores, with catheter care, and with looking after chronic conditions.
Your GP will be able to refer you to the district nursing team if you need this sort of help. You can also contact your nearest district nursing team directly. Ask your GP surgery for details.
If you are receiving daily home care visits, then your care workers will remind you to take the right medication at the right time. They will also keep a written record of it, and may be able to help by collecting repeat prescriptions for you from your doctor or chemist.
Care workers are usually only allowed to prompt with medication rather than actually helping you to take it. If you need assistance to take tablets or medicine, receive medication via an injection, or need certain types of creams or ointments, then you may need a district nurse to assist you.
You can find out more about home care visits on Support in your Home page.
You can check which suppliers have been vetted by Essex County Council Trading Standards on the Buy with Confidence website.
Other information and advice
The NHS website provides information on all of the most common medicines and their side-effects.
For guided advice on medication management, visit AskSARA.
Patient.co.uk have a directory of the most common medicines and drugs, with information on their benefits and side-effects.
The Mind website provides information on the types of medication which you might be offered to treat a mental health problem.
The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about issues around taking medication.
© Essex County Council 2018