Private care and NHS prescriptions

What happens when a patient is seeing a consultant or GP privately, and this clinician recommends a drug treatment and writes to the patient’s NHS GP practice asking them to issue an NHS prescription for it? It is generally recommended a doctor starting a medication should follow this up with their patinet

It depends on what the treatment is, and your ongoing care:

  1. The NHS has a list of drugs that are approved for prescribing by GP practices. If the drug that your private doctor has recommended is not on the NHS list, unfortunately we may not be able to prescribe it.
  2. If the drug that has been recommended is on the NHS approved list, we may prescribe it but only if it is being used for a usual purpose, and it is a drug that we are familiar with and know how to manage. Ultimately, our clinical staff are responsible for the prescription if they issue it, and established clinical practice varies, particularly if your prescription was recommended by a clinician a clinician in another country
  3. We will need a copy of your private doctor’s treatment plan, so that we have the full picture. This needs to be complete including your accurate medication history, medical history, allergy status, monitoring required, plans for follow up, and counselling about the prescription.
  4. We may need to do some research before making a decision, so please allow us at least 1 week to do this. Some decisions are complex and we may need to review it with our senior clinical team or seek input from an NHS consultant with a special interest.
  5. There may be situations where we can prescribe an alternative, but we can’t prescribe the exact drug that your doctor has recommended
  6. We may need to carry out blood tests or other monitoring before prescribing, to ensure your safety

If we can’t meet your needs for any of the above reasons, your private doctor can issue a private prescription.