Case study one

Alex is an IP who has spent a year working in a GP practice running his clinics, he has recently started a new role as a prescriber working remotely doing telephone consultations for out-of-hours. Whilst he has some experience of telephone consultations during his time at the GP practice, this was only for patients that he had seen at some point during his clinics and had a good understanding of their medical records.

Alex is a bit concerned about prescribing remotely for a range of patients that he has not seen before and prescribing outside of his competency. He does not want to turn the role down as he feels it is good for his development as a prescriber.

Consideration Points

  • With remote services becoming increasingly popular, it is important that any prescriber feels both competent and safe to provide this service for their patients.
  • Alex needs to remember he is accountable and responsible for each prescription he signs.
  • Is there a process for when he can refer a patient to a medical prescriber whilst working remotely? Is he able to distinguish when a patient may need a physical examination and where to signpost the patient to?
  • Making a list of all the additional skills required for remote prescribing could be useful, such as improving history taking skills. Could he undertake any additional courses or training that would support him in remote prescribing?
  • Discussing with other prescribers how they may prescribe in this environment, considering a workplace mentor can help.

Further Support

GMC Prescribing guidance: Remote prescribing via telephone, video-link or online

GPhC Guidance for registered pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet

GMC Remote patient consultations and prescribing

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Practical guide for independent prescribers

discussing prescription with patient

If you're an aspiring independent prescriber, this guidance provides practical guidance on overcoming challenges such as finding a designated medical practitioner (DMP) and understanding the role of independent prescribers to a greater extent. 

If you're training to be an independent prescriber use this guidance as a support tool, supporting with resources to develop and build on your competencies and knowledge as a prescriber.

With an increasing role of independent prescribers in the healthcare model and NHS workforce, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has collaborated with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to produce support guidance for Pharmacist, Nurse and Midwife independent prescribers.

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Sections on this page

  • About prescribing
  • How to become an IP
  • During your course
  • Support available to prescribers
  • Case studies
  • Further guidance and support
  • Acknowledgments

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We are grateful to the following persons who have provided expert advice and information during the preparation of this practical guide to support PIP as part of the PIP advisory panel.

  • Patricia Armstrong 
  • Heather Bain
  • Dianne Bell
  • Helen Jarvis
  • Dawne Garrett 
  • Rupa Lyall
  • Claire May
  • Kate Macnamara
  • Mithun Makwana
  • Paul Mooney
  • Anniessa Patel
  • Fiona Pentson-Bird
  • Wendy Preston
  • MinVen Teo