The issue of repeat prescriptions following a consultation is a frequent request in private practice and sometimes causes worries if it is not readily provided by a doctor.
I avoid issuing repeat prescriptions for acute problems without a direct assessment of the need for such a prescription and certainly do not expect such a need after 3 months of the original consultation. I therefore do not offer a prescription for the same problem if a certain time has elapsed without a further review.
More often, the issue for a new prescription comes up for chronic illnesses such as asthma or a similar type of conditions. In order to provide highest quality of professional services for children and young people, I do not regard it as good practice of writing those repeat prescriptions without a further review of the situation after a certain time. It is my practice that for almost all cases a review should occur after 6 months if there is ongoing need for medication.
I am not infrequently asked whether I could provide a further prescription after 6 months of my last review without the possibility of a further assessment. There may be very exceptional circumstances but in general I will not issue such a prescription. I strongly feel this is in the best interest of my patients and trying to provide the highest standard of care, but I am fully aware that this not always convenient for parents.
This is in line with a recommendation by the General Medical Council(1) and Medical Protection Organisations(2). In addition, many of my colleagues operate in a similar framework.
(1) GMC guidance states that arrangements for issuing repeat prescriptions should include suitable provision for monitoring each patient’s condition, and for ensuring that patients who need a further examination or assessment do not receive repeat prescriptions without being seen by a doctor. This is particularly important in the case of medicines with potentially serious side effects.
Created 01 Mar 2020 Reviewed 09 Sep 2021 Next Review March 2022