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 here and includes:
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.