What is a Prescription?

A prescription is usually a written recommendation from a doctor or nurse for a course of drug treatment. These can be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice (please inform us of your chosen pharmacy’s name and address including post code).  In some circumstances we may issue a prescription printed on paper to be presented to a pharmacist for dispensing. 

You can take the prescription to any pharmacist to get it dispensed.

Repeat Prescriptions

Patients who are on regular medication may obtain repeat prescriptions under certain circumstances without seeing their doctor. To request a repeat prescription you can either:

  • Request the repeat prescription using the Online Services.
  • Hand the repeat prescription into Reception.
  • Email the request to the surgery.

If you are on regular medication, you can obtain prescriptions without seeing a doctor or nurse every time. The best way is to use the Online Services. You will see that we give you a number of convenient ways to get your prescription, including an option for us to get your medicine from a pharmacist, for you to then collect from us.

Alternatively you can email us or call in to the Health Centre. (We cannot accept repeat requests by telephone. This is a safety measure to avoid prescribing and transcription errors. Sorry for the inconvenience, but all surgeries have this rule in place).

Please note that no one has a right to obtain a repeat prescription without seeing a doctor or nurse. We try to be as flexible, accommodating and helpful as possible but we do have a duty to prescribe safely, appropriately and responsibly. For example for long term prescriptions for diabetes and asthma, we need to monitor your condition from time to time. And for problems such as depression, we need to see how you are getting on. So please do not be annoyed if you are asked to be seen when you request a repeat prescription – it is in your best interests.

Prescription requests must be in writing – either via your pharmacy or by email :

If you are having problems requesting your medication through the NHS App, please send the Prescribing team an email.
Please include your name and date of birth, as well as the medication required. 

Please allow 5 working days from the date of your request for the prescription to be processed before contacting your nominated pharmacy.

If you have any queries regarding your medication please contact the prescribing team direct. 


You can obtain many treatments for common problems such as fever, colds, coughs, stomach upsets, headache etc. from a pharmacy without a prescription – commonly called otc (over-the-counter) medicines. You should ask the pharmacist for advice. Further details about otc medicines are available at Medicine Chest.

Local Pharmacies

Unfortunately at present there is no pharmacist on the campus and the nearest pharmacies are in the city-centre. However we have an arrangement with Boots (Exeter City Centre) to send your prescription to them for you to collect from there and to Luxtons pharmacy to dispense and deliver your prescriptions to collect from the Health Centre – please ask at reception.

Prescription Charges and Exemptions

Most students are surprised that they have to pay for prescriptions but unfortunately this is true after you reach age 19. However the area of prescription charges is actually quite complicated. Some prescriptions are free for all people e.g. contraceptives. All prescriptions are free for some people with certain health problems such as diabetes and epilepsy (once an exemption certificate has been obtained).

Some students are eligible for exemption from charges on financial grounds – but your financial situation has to be assessed through a lengthy application form called HC1. Finally, a prepaid certificate can be obtained – for example for about £100 pounds you can get a 1 year certificate allowing you to get prescriptions without charge for 12 months.

Sorry – these are rules made by the government, not the Student Health Centre! You can get full information on prescription charges, exemptions, prepaid certificates, etc, at NHS Choices.

 If there are any problems with the NHS app with regards to ordering medication or raising queries, please contact us by email stating name, DOB, the prescription items required and any detail/ queries. We will respond to the prescription items requested firstly, then the queries.