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NHS England commissions RPS to develop repeat prescribing guidance


NHS England commissions RPS to develop repeat prescribing guidance

NHS England has commissioned the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Royal College of General Practitioners to develop new guidance aimed at improving repeat prescribing practices. 

A working group formed of the RPS and RCGP will spend the next 18 months on a toolkit designed to “improve the consistency of repeat prescribing processes and provide training resources so the healthcare system aligns more closely to improve repeat prescribing for better patient care,” according to a statement from the RPS today (June 14). This is in line with NHSE’s ambition to reduce overprescribing in England.

The working group will consider examples of current best practice, consult healthcare professionals, develop an implementation plans for pharmacies and GP surgeries and assess the eventual impact of the toolkit on patient care.

Working group co-chair Clare Howard, an RPS fellow and lead for the development of the toolkit, said: “I’m delighted to eb working on this toolkit with the RPS and RCGP. We prescribe and dispense well over one billion prescription items in England in primary care and over 75 per cent of those items are repeat prescriptions.

“The vast majority of medicines are prescribed and dispensed safely, but we know from the evidence that there are risks in our systems and as these systems get busier, with more and more people on multiple medicines, we need to ensure that our processes are both safe for our patients and efficient for our primary care workforce.

“We will develop a toolkit to help GP practices and PCNs to understand where the risks in their local arrangements might be and how to address them to ensure systems are run safely and also reduce unnecessary burdens on our valuable clinical workforce.” 

NHSE national clinical director for prescribing Dr Tony Avery added: “Having medicines on repeat prescription makes life easier for patients, general practices and community pharmacies, but problems and waste can occur if the repeat prescription process is not designed well, or if patients’ medicines are not reviewed on a regular basis. 

“The guidance and training resources that will be developed by the RPS and RCGP will ensure that repeat prescribing systems work well for patients and NHS primary care teams, reduce inefficiency and waste and, most importantly, keep patients safe.”

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