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GP Prescribing

The GPC has put together a range of guidance documents to meet the increasing demand from individuals and organisations for information relating to prescribing in General Practice. Doctors have specific clinical rights and responsibilities in relation to prescribing, and as most general practitioners work within the NHS, they are also bound by the NHS regulatory system. A number of guidance documents can be accessed on the BMA website and include:

Prescribing in general practice

Guidance on prescribing in general practice to help with the clinical rights and responsibilities in relation to prescribing.

Gender incongruence in primary care

This guidance has been updated to incorporate advice on prescribing given in the recently published Responsibility for prescribing between primary and secondary/tertiary care. The NHS England guidance expresses clearly that when clinical responsibility for prescribing for gender incongruent patients is transferred to general practice, it is important that the GP is confident to prescribe the necessary medicines, and that any transfers involving medicines with which GPs would not normally be familiar should not take place without a local shared care agreement.


What is a shared care agreement?

Sometimes the care of a patient is shared between the two doctors, usually a GP and a specialist. There should be a formalised written agreement/protocol setting out the position of each, to which both parties have willingly agreed, which is known as an ‘shared care agreement’. It is important that patients are involved in decisions to share care and are clear about what arrangements are in place to ensure safe prescribing.

In some cases, a GP may decline to participate in a shared care agreement if he or she considers it to be inappropriate. In such circumstances the consultant would take full responsibility for prescribing and any necessary monitoring. Guidance covering these issues was published in 2018, on the NHS England website.

Over-the-counter medicines guidance

GPC guidance on the contractual requirements for practices in prescribing over-the-counter medicines for minor, short-term health concerns.

Spirometry in Primary Care

Following the publication of training standards for Spirometry, the GPC has published a statement clarifying that this is not part of the core GMS contract work and that there are no mandatory requirements for practices to perform Spirometry.

Anticipatory prescribing

This document will help to clarify the issues around anticipatory prescribing and end-of-life care – not intended for clinical guidance.

Excessive prescribing

This guide aims to provide background support to Annex 8 of the revisions to the GMS Contract 2006-07 ‘Excessive or inappropriate prescribing’.

Multi compliance aids

Information about guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on improving patient care through better use of multi compliance aids.

Patient Group Directions

Updated advice on the use of Patient Group Directions (PGDs) and Patient Specific Directions (PSDs) in general practice – January 2016.

Prescription Direction

A joint statement on prescription direction which illustrates activities to avoid in order to maintain good practice.

Vaccinations and immunisations guidance

This page shows a roundup of new requirements and general guidance on vaccinations and immunisations for general practitioners.

Guidance for dispensing doctors and community pharmacists

Guidance on dispensing for GPs, and workbooks to foster improved communication between GP practices and community pharmacists.

February 2019

The voice for NHS GPs and Practice Teams across North Yorkshire, the City of York, Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale & Craven districts.