1 February 2011

Q. I have a number of elderly patients who come to me privately but who are eligible to receive free NHS prescriptions. I have several times been asked if I can provide them with an NHS prescription when medication has been required. It seems such a reasonable request.

An NHS prescription can only be written for a patient who is receiving an NHS course of treatment or treatment of an urgent condition under the NHS. If any of your patients are being treated on a private basis, and they require a 'prescription only medicine', then this must be prescribed on a private basis or dispensed at the practice.

It is important when dispensing medication that the appropriate records are kept of the drugs dispensed and dosage, etc.

The British Dental Association provide an excellent advice sheet Prescribing in General Practice which can be downloaded from their website and Dental Protection has also produced a risk management module Drugs and Prescribing which provides risk management and generic advice on prescribing in practice. This is available to Dental Protection members at no charge from our new E-learning library hosted on the DPL website.

Dental Protection Limited is registered in England (No. 2374160) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Medical Protection Society Limited (MPS) which is registered in England (No.36142). Both companies use Dental Protection as a trading name and have their registered office at 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PS.

Dental Protection Limited serves and supports the dental members of MPS with access to the full range of benefits of membership, which are all discretionary, and set out in MPS’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. MPS is not an insurance company. Dental Protection® is a registered trademark of MPS.

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