Hospital and Private Prescriptions




Hospital Prescriptions

You should not bring us prescriptions issued by hospital outpatient clinics. It is often not possible for us to issue these prescriptions without the accompanying clinic letter which the hospital may not send to us until a few weeks later. Please take these prescriptions to the hospital pharmacy as you should have been advised at the hospital.

Shared Care Protocol

We prescribe certain medications on what is known as a “shared-care protocol” (examples include Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Ciclosporin). The patient remains under the care of the hospital specialist but the prescription is issued by the GP. Some drugs issued under shared-care require regular monitoring of blood tests to ensure their safety. If the patient is having their blood test monitoring done at the hospital, the GPs at the Abbey Medical Centre reserve the right not to issue the prescription until they have up to date copies of the blood test results. It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure that we are receiving copies of their blood results.

Prescribing Policy

The GPs at the Abbey Medical Centre believe that providing the best possible care to our patients is our top priority. When a prescription is necessary our main considerations are effectiveness and safety. We would never let cost come before patient care but at a same time we try to provide the best value to the NHS by prescribing from an approved list of medications which meet these considerations.

This list is known as a formulary and we are sometimes asked by a hospital doctor to prescribe medications which are either restricted to the local hospital formulary or are not on either the local hospital or GP formulary. It is not always possible to prescribe these medications but when these situations arise, we will seek advice from the Camden Medicines Management Team in order to find a solution for our patients.


Private Prescriptions

Your GP cannot issue a prescription based solely on a private prescription note from your specialist.

Before a NHS prescription can be issued, your GP must have received a letter from the private consultant explaining the precise details of the prescription; what it is being used to treat; how long treatment is intended for; and what monitoring or follow up is required.

Your GP may refuse to issue you with a NHS prescription for the following reasons:

  • If your GP considers that there is a not a clear clinical indication for the prescription, and that in the same circumstances a NHS patient would not be being offered this treatment.
  • If the private specialist recommends a new or experimental treatment, or recommends prescribing a medication outside of its licensed indication.
  • If the medication recommended is not generally provided within the NHS.
  • If the medication is of a very specialized nature requiring ongoing monitoring, some GPs may feel that they have insufficient expertise to accept responsibility for the prescription.

Your NHS prescription may be slightly different to that which was recommended by your private specialist.

We are committed to prescribe from a carefully selected list of medications and in line with local policies (a formulary) which provide the best evidence of efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness to the NHS.  If the recommendation from your private specialist is for treatment that is not in the formulary then your GP may change the medication in line with the drugs used for NHS patients locally.

If your GP is unable to issue a NHS prescription, you can still obtain the medication by paying for it privately with a prescription issued by your specialist.