Things you can do to take care of yourself


Medicines for your long term health condition

An important part of keeping well is:

  • understanding what your medicines do
  • how and when you should take your medicines
  • knowing about any side effects

Where to find advice and information

Clinical pharmacists

Clinical pharmacists now work in many GP practices across Stockport. You can:

  • talk to them about the medicines you're taking to make sure they're right for you
  • get advice about lifestyle changes to help you manage your condition
  • discuss any side effects from your medicines and they'll work with you to find a solution
  • make sure that if you're taking a number of different medicines, they work well together

If you're taking medicines over the long term you should be seen for a review at least once a year. The clinical pharmacist can:

  • review all your medicines
  • discuss how they're working for you
  • carry out health checks. For example; taking your blood pressure
  • arrange for you to have blood or other tests

If your medicines were changed while you were in hospital, the clinical pharmacist can help explain these changes.

A clinical pharmacist may be able to prescribe your medicines in the same way as your doctor. They do not give you your medicines. You'll still have to collect them from a pharmacy in the usual way.

Ask at your GP practice for more information.

NHS Medicines A-Z

The NHS has a medicines A-Z which gives more information on:

  • how specific medicines work
  • when they should be taken
  • possible side effects
  • answers to common questions

Local pharmacies

Your local pharmacy can also offer expert advice and help:

  • they can answer questions about medicines you've been prescribed
  • the New Medicine Service can give you extra help and advice if you’re just starting on a new medicine for certain long term health conditions
  • you can book Medicines Use Review. This is a detailed consultation where you can talk about the medicines you're taking, when you should be taking it and any side effects you may be concerned about

You can find more information about what to expect from your pharmacy team on the NHS website.

Help with prescription costs

Free NHS prescriptions

People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if they have a valid medical exemption certificate. Your doctor should give you an application form if you're entitled to a certificate.

You may also be exempt from paying for prescriptions if you meet other criteria. Visit the NHS website to find more information about who can get free prescriptions.

You can use the NHS eligibility checker to check if you’re eligible for free NHS prescriptions and any help with other NHS costs

Prescription Prepayment Certificates

If you’re not entitled to free prescriptions you could save money with a Prescription Prepayment Certificate, also known as a PPC. This lets you get as many NHS prescriptions as you need for a set price.

If you regularly pay prescription charges, a PPC could save you money.

The prescription charge in England is currently £9.35 per item.

A PPC costs:

  • £30.25 for 3 months
  • £108.10 for 12 months

Find out more about Prescription Prepayment Certificates and how to apply.

NHS Low Income Scheme

If you have a low income this Scheme could help you pay for NHS prescription charges. Depending on your circumstance you can receive full help or partial help.

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme and how to apply.

Apps

If you have to take a number of different medicines it can sometimes be hard to remember when you should be taking them. It may be helpful to use a calendar to write it down or you can download an app. For example the medication and pill tracker app from My Therapy can send you alerts when it’s time to take your medication as well as allowing you to log details such as side effects.