Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices



Communitybaptistpa (2013) Medical practice London, Communitybaptistpa


Electronic prescribing services can also be used. In England prescriptions can be sent electronically to a pharmacy; in Wales and Scotland, information is held in a barcode on a paper prescription. For more details see , Health and social Care information Centre; , NHS Wales Informatics Service; , Scottish Government


See .


See explanatory guidance on Delegation and referral (2013). See also , Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.


Communitybaptistpa (2008) Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together London, Communitybaptistpa


See (Department of Health, 2009), which reported that ‘around 180,000 people with dementia are treated with antipsychotic medication across the country per year… use at this level equates to an additional 1,800 deaths, and an additional 1,620 cerebrovascular adverse events, around half of which may be severe, per year’, and . The website and the joint NHS Institute and Dementia Action Alliance’s Call to action: the use of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia also contains guides, case studies and other materials to support good prescribing practice and alternative care strategies for patients with dementia.


A number of patient decision aids are available on the website.


and information bearing The Information Standard quality mark, for example.


The website includes information, guidance and tools for understanding and improving adherence. See also on medicines adherence.


See Keeping patients safe when they transfer between care providers – getting the medicines right (Royal Pharmaceutical Society, July 2011).


See the EQUIP (Errors – Questioning Undergraduate Impact on Prescribing) study regarding inappropriate delegation of responsibility for writing up discharge summaries to junior staff with insufficient pharmacology training or knowledge of patients. 


See  (National Prescribing Centre, 2008)


Shared care resources are available from the National Prescribing Centre; , which has produced 16 ‘Effective Shared Care Agreements’ covering a variety of medicines/indications; , which has published many shared care protocols/agreements; and which publishes an Effective Shared Care Agreement Toolkit ‘to assist healthcare professionals in the development of their own shared care agreements to support locally agreed prescribing’.


You should anonymise or code the information or seek consent, if practicable, or see our confidentiality guidance for more advice.


You must also make sure dangerous occurrences and accidents are reported to the Health and Safety Executive in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, and that local procedures for reporting and learning from similar issues are followed.


The collects data on licensed and unlicensed prescription-only, pharmacy and over-the-counter medicines.


Further guidance on reporting is available from the . Incidents involving medical devices in England and Wales should be reported to . In Northern Ireland they should be reported to ; and in Scotland to .


See The Medicines (Advertising) Regulations 1994 and The Medicines (Monitoring of Advertising) Regulations 1994, both as amended, and (MHRA, 2005).


This definition is based on information published by the (MHRA) which is the licensing and regulatory body for the supply and use of medicines and medical devices. MHRA guidance on the lawful supply and use of unlicensed medicines is set out in the MHRA publication The supply of unlicensed medicinal products (“specials”), .


We cannot foresee every circumstance in which it may be necessary to prescribe an unlicensed medicine to meet a particular patient’s assessed needs. If in doubt consult or seek legal advice.


The on unlicensed medicines produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health/Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group Standing Committee on Medicines may be helpful in explaining to children and parents why such practice is common in caring for children. The British Pain Society publishes .