"Only 3 months prescriptions for 4 month stay"

About: NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

I have a daughter in Canada and I will be spending 4 months with her. When I enquired about my prescriptions I was told I could only receive 3 months and that I would have to try and buy them whilst there. I find this very disconcerting as I have paid National Insurance all my life. ( I am in my 60s ). Is this the case in all Surgeries in Scotland or is my local Surgery making it's own rules?


Response from Laura Jack, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Laura Jack

Hi Jinty12,

Thanks for getting in touch and I'm sorry for the short delay in repsonding to you.

I have been in touch with my colleagues within our Prescribing Management Team here at NHS Lanarkshire. They have advised me in general terms that it is indeed correct that the NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to 3 months.

They have explained that normally if a person is going to be abroad for longer than 3 months then the patient is entitled to (at NHS expense) a sufficient supply of his/her regular medication to get to the destination when afterwards they can find an alternative supply of that medication.

It is deemed as a reasonable approach to limit supplies of medication to a maximum of 3 months on NHS. For those going on extended holidays, further supplies to cover the rest of the holiday can be obtained at the destination (by registering with a medical practitioner) or if that is likely to be difficult, can be provided as a top up supply on private prescription before leaving the UK.

I hope this makes sense, however if you want to chat over the specifics of your concerns or for assistance in contacting your prescriber to discuss further, you can contact me directly on 01698 858 292 or via email at laura.jack@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk

Many thanks


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