Volunteering to collect a prescription for a friend, family member or neighbour

April 26, 2020

Many people are supporting others by collecting their prescriptions. Before you start collecting and dropping off medicines to patients’ homes, Healthwatch Brighton & Hove says it is important to understand how to undertake tasks safely and effectively. This is key to protecting patient safety and confidentiality.


The following guide provides top tips for safely collecting and picking up prescriptions for a friend, family member or neighbour, as well as general advice, and you can download a helpful poster here:

  • Only collect for up to two patients at a time.
  • Go to the right pharmacy.
  • Know the name and address of the person you are collecting for. It may also save time in the pharmacy if you know what medicine(s) you are expecting.
  • Please don’t be offended if the pharmacist asks for ID or cannot hand over certain medicines. Please ensure you have appropriate ID with you, such as your driving licence or your letter of authority/volunteer ID from the Council.
  • Ask the patient if they pay for their prescription – it’s £9.15 per prescription item (they may be able to pay for the medication over the phone if the pharmacy offers this service, though not all do). If the patient doesn’t pay, ask which ‘exemption’ applies to them.
  • Medicine deliveries must be completed on the same day that you collect them from the pharmacy, and within the opening hours of the pharmacy. Any medicines that cannot be delivered must be returned to the pharmacy that day; you must not store other peoples’ medicines overnight in your own home or fridge.
  • Do not open the prescription package. If medicine packages split, or there’s a breakage, call the pharmacy team immediately for their advice. It is likely you will have to return to the pharmacy in this situation.

Should you have any questions or require further information please contact: