If a request is made for a GP to take over prescribing of a medication or treatment which has been recommended by a private doctor or specialist service, they will need to ensure that the prescribing is appropriate and follow the guidance of what will be prescribed for other NHS patients with the same diagnosis or condition. The prescribing of medication or treatment will be at the discretion of the doctor.
Handwritten private prescriptions will not be changed to an NHS prescription as there is a risk of serious medication error. The surgery will need to receive a letter from the consultant which provides full details of the treatment including the name, strength, form, dose and indication of the desired treatment.
Under NHS GMS Regulations the patient is entitled to receive any drug which is available on the NHS, via an NHS prescription.
However, the GMC Regulations state that prescribers are to prescribe only in the best interests of the patient and only within that prescriber’s level of competence. That takes priority in all decisions.
There are a number of circumstances when prescribers will decline the request or offer to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Prescriptions may be declined if
- A letter explaining the full rationale for the treatment has not been provided by the consultant in the private sector.
- He or she feels the medicine is not clinically necessary.
- The medication is unlicenced.
- The medication is prescribed outside of its licenced indication.
- The medication is not what he or she would normally prescribe.
- The medication needs special monitoring and he or she feels they do not have the expertise to do this.
- The use of the medication conflicts with NICE guidance or locally agreed protocols.
- An equivalent effective medicine is prescribed locally under prescribing advice from the CCG, in this situation you will be offered the equivalent medicine.
- In any of these circumstances the patient will retain the option of purchasing the recommended medicine via a prescription from their consultant in the private sector.
The NHS does NOT refund any money spent on private treatment, including medicines.
The requests for private treatment or medications will fall outside of the repeat prescribing policy.
Requests can take up to 5 working days and we recommend that the private specialist gives you at least one months’ supply of the medication whilst your request is being considered.