How to change nominated pharmacy? Answered.

How to change nominated pharmacy? [Answered]

Have you recently moved and want to change your pharmacy? Or perhaps you are not happy with the service you have been receiving from your current pharmacy, whatever the reason changing the nominated pharmacy is easy and can be done in several ways. How to change nominated pharmacy? In this post, I will discuss 8 easy ways of changing your nominated pharmacy.

What is a nominated pharmacy?

A nominated pharmacy is a pharmacy that is chosen by a patient to which her/his electronic prescriptions are sent by default. In the UK, electronic prescription service is becoming a default method of prescription transfer between surgeries and pharmacies. Changing a nomination would also apply to paper non-electronic prescriptions, as nomination details are normally imprinted in the top left corner of paper (FP10) prescriptions.

8 easy ways of changing your nominated pharmacy

GP surgeries and pharmacies can change a patient’s nominated pharmacy. Change of nomination can only happen after consent is given by a patient to change the nomination. Consent to change a nominated pharmacy does not need to be in writing, verbal communication is accepted. Even after a nomination is in place (PCNS, ND):

  • Patients can request to get a paper prescription. Paper prescriptions are now replaced with electronic prescription tokens (EPS tokens). EPS tokens can also be collected from a GP surgery like any other paper prescriptions. EPS tokens do not have a signature of the prescriber visible in the usually designated space of FP10 prescriptions.
  • GP surgery should not suggest any pharmacy to dispense patients’ prescriptions.
  • Pharmacies must respect a patient’s choice of a nominated pharmacy and should not use any incentives to influence a patient’s choice of a nominated pharmacy.

How to change nominated pharmacy?

1. Changing nomination in person

Patients can walk into any pharmacy and tell a pharmacy staff that they want this pharmacy to be their nominated pharmacy or in other words inform the staff that they wish for their prescriptions to be sent to this pharmacy. Patients who have never been before to their new (chosen) pharmacy will need to provide some details to enable a member of a pharmacy team to find and add them to the dispensing software and eventually change the nomination. 

Providing an NHS number is the quickest way of finding patients’ details. Alternatively, patients may provide: 

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • a postcode

The change of nomination comes into effect straight away. Any new prescriptions sent by GP would be sent directly to a newly chosen pharmacy.

2. Changing nomination over the phone

The above process can be done over the phone. Patients may ring a chosen pharmacy and explain that they wish this pharmacy to be the nominated pharmacy going forward. Patients would be asked to provide the same details outlined in the previous section.

3. Speak to your GP practice

A GP surgery can change nominations in person or over the phone.

4. Change nomination online

Many GP practices in the UK use SystmOnline to allow patients to manage many areas of their healthcare, including:

  • management of GP appointments,
  • requests for repeat medication
  • management of personal demographic details
  • completing questionnaires

SystmOnline is available online or via a free iPhone or Android app. Speak to your surgery to get registration details and website address to access this system. You will at least one form of ID to get access to SystmOnline. Speak to a receptionist to see what form of id(s) are required to get access details to SystmOnline.  

SystmOnline has the option to change a nominated pharmacy. SystmOnline lists automatically the closest pharmacies located to patients. Simply choose a pharmacy from the list and update your nominated pharmacy by pressing ‘choose’ next to the name of the preferred pharmacy.

5. Changing a nominated pharmacy with the NHS app

The NHS app has many features. It enables patients for example to get help and advice or register as organ donors. Additionally, patients can:

  • Order their repeat prescriptions
  • Set or change their nominated pharmacy, where they want their prescriptions to be sent (NHS Digital, 2022)

6. Choosing the nominated pharmacy with a repeat slip

Each EPS token (copy of an electronic prescription) has a repeat slip attached, which lists a patient’s repeatable medications. One way of ordering a repeat medication is to drop this part off at the surgery. Each repeat slip usually lists local pharmacies to which the requested prescription can be sent. Patients can choose any pharmacy from the list by ticking a box next to an appropriate pharmacy name. Additionally, I would strongly advise to make a note at the bottom of the repeat asking to change the nomination.

7. Sign up to an online pharmacy for repeat prescriptions 

How to change nominated pharmacy online?

Patients have the option of signing up for an online pharmacy to manage their medication. Many online pharmacies offer management of repeat prescriptions, dispensing and delivery of medicines to their homes. As a part of the registration process patients are asked for consent to change their nominated pharmacy. 

8. Removing nominated pharmacy

Patients may ask their current pharmacy or GP surgery to remove their nomination. In this case, a patient will not have a nominated pharmacy assigned until another nomination takes place. Any future request for medication from a GP surgery would result in an electronic prescription being sent to the ‘spine’ and not downloaded by any pharmacy. In this scenario, patients can walk to any pharmacy and ask for a prescription to be downloaded from the spine. 

From the pharmacy’s point of view, this is the least favourable situation. Since the prescription is sitting on the spine, patients need to let know a chosen pharmacy to download it and process it. Many patients are not aware of this and simply expect medicines to be ready when visiting a pharmacy. This puts an additional unplanned workload on the pharmacy team. 

How to change a nominated pharmacy? Possible problems. 

In relation to pharmacy nominations, some of the points listed below may happen on an occasional basis.

  • A patient nominated to one pharmacy has requested a prescription to be sent to another pharmacy; however, the instructions are missed by surgery, and consequently, a prescription is sent to the same pharmacy.
  • Patient visiting different pharmacy with one-off script gets nominated with little information on the actual consequences of a nomination.

Note: when in doubt, pharmacy staff can use the EPS tracker to search for any electronic prescriptions issued by a GP surgery. EPS tracker is an NHS service available to pharmacy teams, which additionally provides information on the location of the prescription.

How do I change pharmacies?

In order to change pharmacy, patients need to change a nomination to a new pharmacy. A member of staff from GP surgery or pharmacy can change your nomination. Nominations can also be changed with the use of GP online services provided by GP surgery.

Is Pharmacy2U an NHS service?

Pharmay2u is a limited company which provides an NHS service. Any pharmacy which wishes to dispense NHS prescriptions needs to apply for an NHS contract to provide this service.

Can you use two different pharmacies?

Patients can use any number of pharmacies; however, if patients have a nomination in place, by default, any prescriptions are sent to a nominated pharmacy. Patients can remove a nomination or request collection of prescription / EPS token from surgery and take it to any pharmacy.

Can you get a repeat prescription without going to the doctors?

It is possible to order a repeat prescription without seeing a doctor; however, a doctor needs to allow for medication to be repeatable. During an initial consultation, a GP should inform the patient if the medication is repeatable and for how long.

Are paper prescriptions being phased out?

Yes. Electronic prescription service is becoming a default method of prescription transfer between surgeries and pharmacies. Although paper prescriptions are being phased out, when necessary, patients will be able to get a paper copy of EPS token instead.


NHS Digital (2022). NHS App features. Available at: Accessed on 15/01/2023

PSNC (ND). Nomination and patient consent. Available at: Accessed on 14/01/2023


I am a qualified pharmacist working in an independent pharmacy in the UK.
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