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About Pillo

How sustainable is Pillo?


At Pillo, we understand the current challenge the world faces with climate change and we do not ignore our responsibility in helping our world and environment. We aim to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Most of our packaging is recyclable and we aim to recycle as much of our own waste as possible. We try to reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials we are using in our processes. We also use an energy provider that supplies us with energy only from renewable sources. The pouches are made form a recyclable material but unfortunately, they are not widely recycled yet. Please recycle the pouches where facilities exist. They are plastic resin numer 7. We are in the process of finding more easily recyclable material or to a biodegradable material. Once we have changed this we’ll let you know.




What is Pillo?


Pillo is a NHS distance selling pharmacy. Part of our service includes pre-sorting your medication into easy to use pouches. We dispense all medications and delivery is free of charge for you and no additional costs to the NHS




How much does Pillo charge?


Our service is completely free. However, you may still need to pay prescription charges if you do not have an exemption.

If you have an exemption, please chose one of the options during sign-up. You will need to let us know if this changes.




How does Pillo work with the NHS?


Pillo is a NHS registered pharmacy. This means that we dispense medication on behalf of the NHS as a contractor. This is the same for all NHS registered pharmacies in the UK.

We are also connected to the NHS Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). This means that your electronic prescriptions are securely sent to us directly from your GP.




Where is Pillo?


We operate at:

Unit 25 Oakhill Trading Estate, Devonshire Road, Manchester, M28 3PT.

As a distance selling pharmacy, we do not operate a store front, and patients do not visit us in person. We provide all of our services at a distance.





Sign Up

Can I register on behalf of someone else?


You are able to sign up to Pillo on behalf of someone else. When doing so, you must sign up with their details and then inform us that you are acting on behalf of someone else. If you are registering on someone else’s behalf then please ensure you have consent from the patient. We may ask for evidence of this consent, which would involve filling out a consent form and providing some sort of proof of consent.




What is my Summary Care Record (SCR)?


SCRs are an online record that your GP surgery may keep for each person. By signing up to our service you have consented to us accessing your SCR. On occasion we may access this to double check your records for your safety. If you would not like us to access your SCR then please contact us. More information about SCRs can be found here.




What is the NHS Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)?


EPS is a secure and reliable service that allows GPs to send electronic prescriptions to any pharmacy in England. EPS nomination allows you to select any pharmacy of your choice that you would like to have all of your electronic prescriptions sent to. This helps to make the system more efficient and helps to reduce waste. You no longer have to collect your prescription from your GP surgery. They are automatically sent to your selected pharmacy. You can check if your GP surgery is set up for EPS on the NHS Service Search. If you would like any more information about EPS then you can check the NHS website. Please note that our service is designed for use with the NHS EPS. However, if your GP does not use ESP and you would still like to use Pillo as your pharmacy, you may post your prescriptions to us at your own risk.




What happens if my information is incorrect?


If you have given us the wrong information there are multiple things that could go wrong. For example, if you have given us the wrong address, we may deliver the medication to the wrong person; so please ensure your details are always up to date to help with your safety.




Can I use Pillo in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?


Our service is available to the whole of the United Kingdom. However, our online ordering service is only available to patients within the England. Also, if you are based in either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will have to post your paper prescriptions to us, which is risky and may lead to a substantial delay in getting your prescriptions to you.




How do I sign up?


You can sign up on our website by filling in a simple form. Please provide accurate details that match those you have registered with at your GP surgery. This will allow us to find you on the NHS system for nomination.




What happens after I sign up?


After you sign up, we will nominate you to our pharmacy so that your electronic prescriptions are automatically sent to us from your GP. We'll then contact you to find out about your medication and when you take it, so that we can tailor the medication pouches to you once we receive your prescriptions.





Pouches and Packaging

How can I dispose of my unwanted medication?


Pharmacies registered in the UK are required to accept any unwanted medication from patients. Pharmacies can accept the majority of medications but they cannot accept everything, please check the list here to make sure that you can return it to a pharmacy. List of medication that can and cannot be accepted by the pharmacy. If you would like to dispose of your medication you can find your local pharmacy here. You can take your medication to your local pharmacy and they can dispose of them for you. If you would like to send your medication to us please complete this form and post the form and the medication to us. We can then dispose of it safely. For the safety of our staff please can you label the package as ‘UNWANTED MEDICINES RETURN’




Do I have to have pouches?


We know that not everyone wants their medication pre-sorted into pouches. That’s okay. We can dispense your medication in original packaging if you prefer. Please let us know, so that we can arrange this for you.




Do you provide Patient Information Leaflets (PILs)?


We know that it is important that you know and understand the medication that you are taking. We do not usually provide PILs for pouched medication. However, you can easily find and read the PILs online at:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc

This wesite contains up to date PILs, which can be read easily online.

If you cannot find the right PIL or would prefer a paper copy from us, please email us at help@pillo.co.uk and we will be happy to help.




What are medication pouches?


Medication is pre-sorted by the dose into easy to use medication pouches. These are small packets containing your medication for that day and time.

Each pouch is labelled with the medication contained within it, the time, day and date it is due to be taken and the patient’s name. Pouches are rolled up in the order that they need to be taken.

Pouches can be especially helpful for patients who:

  • Have dexterity issues

  • Have a lot of medication

  • Have a complicated medication regime

  • Have strict timing rules for their medication (e.g. Parkinsons medication).

  • Have trouble remembering to take their medication.




How much medication can fit in one pouch?


The total number of individual pills that can fit into a pouch may vary due to the different sizes of medication. On average, 10-15 pills can fit into a pouch.

However, the maximum number of different medications that can go into a pouch is 10. This is because no more than 10 medications can be printed on each pouch.

If your medication for a particular time does not fit into a single pouch, there will be another pouch for that time. You will be able to see this printed on the pouches as ‘Pouch 1 of 2’ or ‘Pouch 2 of 2’ etc.




How do the pouches arrive?


Pouches arrive in a roll in the order they are due to be taken. This roll sits inside a dispenser box.

The dispenser is designed to fit 1 months worth of medication for the average patient. Sometimes, we may send additional rolls because all of your pouches could not fit into one roll. When the existing roll comes to an end, you simply slide the box open and place the next roll inside.




How do I use the pouches?


Using the pouches is simple.

Detach pouches from the bottom right corner along the dotted line.

Tear open from the left hand side.




Can all of my medication go into pouches?


Only solid, oral medication can go into pouches such as tablets and capsules. While the majority of these can be packed into pouches, some medication is not suitable. This can be for one of the following reasons:

  • It must be kept in it’s original packaging until it needs to be taken by the patient

  • The GP has not prescribed the medication as a regular dose.

  • It is a one-off prescription (e.g. antibiotics)

  • Some controlled medications are not suitable for pouches.

If you would like to know if your medication is suitable for pouching, please contact us and we will be happy to help.




How do I store the pouches?


Please store the pouches in a cool dry place.

Please also note that the pouches are designed to be easy to use and open, and are therefore not childproof. Please therefore keep out of sight and reach of children.




What happens if my medication changes?


If your medication changes we will contact you and arrange a solution based of what the change is. If an additional item is prescribed in the middle of the month then it will be sent out in its original pack. If you have to stop taking a medication then you may need to remove it from the pouches, in this situation use the description of the medication on the first couple of pouches to identify the correct tablet.





Prescriptions

What if I need my medication urgently?


If you need your medication urgently you can ask your doctor to print the prescription and you can take it to which ever pharmacy is convenient for you. If the prescription has been sent to us electronically and your require it urgently you can contact us and we can send you the prescription code which you can take to any pharmacy convenient for you and they will be able to retrieve and dispense the electronic prescription for you.




What if I need more medication because I’m going away or have lost my medication?


If you have lost your medication you cannot request your medication through us as the doctor will reject it for being requested too early. You should call the doctors immediately and arrange for replacement medication, if you need it urgently then you should request a paper prescription so that you can take it to a local pharmacy. If you are going away and require more medication than you normally receive, you should contact your GP as soon as possible and explain to them why you need more medication and for what period of time. Please note that we have no control over the approval of prescriptions.




How do I know if I have to pay for my prescriptions?


Some people are entitled to free prescriptions because they fall into certain categories. If you are unsure whether have to pay for your medication or not, you can check your eligibility for free prescriptions here. If you fall into any one of the exemption criteria then you do not pay for your medication. Certain medications, such as contraceptives, are free of charge regardless of exemption status. Please ensure you provide us with the correct exemption information. If you have given us incorrect exemption information, you may receive a fine from the NHSBSA. If you are not entitled to free prescriptions but are taking multiple medications then it may be more cost effective for you to purchase a Prepayment Certificate which can be purchased from the NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate website.




How much does my medication cost?


Our service is free to use and we do not charge for delivery. However, if you have to pay for your prescription medication then you will have to pay the standard NHS charge per prescription item (which is currently £9.15 per item, however this does change based on NHS guidance). Some medication, such as contraceptives, are free of charge regardless of exemption status. When we receive a prescription, we will notify you if you need to pay and how much. We collect this payment on behalf of the NHS and pass this onto them.




I would like to know more about the medications you have sent me.


If you would like to know any more information about the medication you have received or the services we provide call us on 01204 861359 and you can talk to one of our friendly staff members. If our staff are not able to help they will pass you onto one of our pharmacists who will help you as best as they can. If our phone lines are closed then please wait until they re-open. Our call times are 9am - 5pm Monday – Friday. Alternatively, you can email us anytime to hello@pillo.co.uk




What is Electronic Repeat Dispensing?


Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) is for patients who regularly take the same medication. These patients may be put on a repeat prescription so that they do not need to visit or contact the GP surgery every month for a new prescription. With eRD, the GP surgery signs off several months of prescriptions and the pharmacy processes one each month until we have used all the prescriptions. These are used to help take the burden away from GPs and to make it easier for patients to receive their medications. If you have been put on an eRD then you can contact us directly to reorder your medication. If you have been put on an eRD and are going away on holiday then we can release up to three months of these prescriptions (where possible) you just have to give us a call. When these repeat prescriptions run out, we will notify you when we have dispensed the last one and you can order the next set of eRDs next month a week before you are due them. Sometimes these prescriptions expire before all of the repeat prescriptions are used so please ensure you order in good time in case they need to be reordered from your GP surgery,




Who orders my prescriptions?


Pillo does not currently order prescriptions of behalf of patients.

You'll need to order your medication as you normally would from your GP surgery. Please note that it can take up to 2 days for your GP to send your prescription to us.

We recommend that you order your prescriptions at least 10 days before you are due to run out. This leaves enough time to package your medication into pouches and deliver them to you.

If we do not receive your prescription in time, we may not have time to pack your medication into pouches. If this happens, we will send out your medication to you in original packaging.




Do you dispense controlled medication?


Pillo can dispense all medication, this includes controlled medication. However, not all controlled medication is suitable for pouches. This is because of safety concerns.

If you take controlled medication and would like to know if it can be packaged into pouches, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

If your controlled medication is not suitable for pouches, we will still send this out to you in its original packaging.




What brands of medication does Pillo use?


We know that it can be confusing if your medication looks different every month. That is why we try to use the same brands when we can. However, we may sometimes need to change brands due to supply issues.




What if I get different prescriptions at different times of the month?


We are only able to dispense medication once we have a prescription. Therefore, if your prescriptions are not synchronised then we will be unable to package them together into pouches.

We recommend that you contact your GP to let them know that you would like your prescriptions synchronised. Please inform them that you would like all of your prescriptions issued at the same time of the month from now on as you are signing up to a service which packages your medication by the dose.

If we receive prescriptions for you at different times of the month, then they may not all be in pouches. However, we may be able to contact your GP to fix this issue for the next month.





Delivery

How does delivery work?


Once your prescription has been dispensed, we deliver your prescriptions with our own drivers if you live locally. Otherwise, we will post it out with Royal Mail free of charge. All items except cold chain items are sent out using the Royal Mail 48-hour service. Your medication will be delivered in discreet packaging. If you are not in when they try to deliver, they will leave a ‘Sorry we missed you card’ which will have the details of how to organise a redelivery or when and where you can collect your parcel from.




How will my fridge items be delivered?


Some medication needs to be kept at a certain cool temperature. We pack cold chain items in special Woolcool insulated packaging with some ice packs to help maintain the right temperature. We will contact you before delivery to ensure you are available to receive the cold chain items. If you miss a delivery for a cold chain items please ensure that you collect them within 24 hours of the attempted delivery, to ensure that the medication remains at the correct temperature. The Woolcool packaging that we send out to you is reusable so if you can, please either:

  • Use it as a cool bag/box (the wool works well as an insulator and the ice packs can be refrozen).
  • Alternatively, you can recycle the packaging or if possible, you can post the icepacks and the wool back to us using our free post service.




How will my controlled medication be delivered?


Safe custody controlled medication will require a signature on delivery. We will try to contact you before the item is dispatched to ensure that you will be home to sign for the items.




What if my delivery is wrong or damaged?


If you have received the incorrect items or the items have been damaged in transit please notify us IMMEDIATELY and DO NOT TAKE any of the medication. We will resolve the issue on a case by case basis.




When will I receive my medication?


We aim to deliver your medication to you before you are due to run out. When your medication has been dispatched, we'll send you an email. Please rememer to order your prescription from your GP at least 10 days before you are due to run out. You may need to explain why you are ordering your medication so early as some GPs will not issue a prescription that early.





Frequently Asked Questions