The Spinney Surgery

Ramsey Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 3TP

Current time is 15:06 - We're open


Telephone: 01480 495347

Out of Hours: 111

Prescribing for Secondary Care

Posted on February 28th, 2020


Following feedback from our patients, it has become apparent that there is sometimes confusion regarding the issuing of medication recommended by a specialist with instruction to the GP to prescribe. This has sometimes led to unfortunate delays in treatment.

Instructions from the hospital can sometimes be delivered the same day to the GP (although contractually the specialist should themselves prescribe any medication needed immediately by the patient) or take anything up to several months to reach us, depending on administrative problems at the hospital. However, we find that most come within two weeks.

Once the surgery receives the instruction, the drug is normally issued within a few days depending on when the various doctors are working. We fully expect that the specialist has counselled the patient regarding any side effects, monitoring required and interactions with their other drugs. We also fully expect that the specialist will inform the patient that they should allow time for the letter to reach us and the drug will normally automatically be issued to their normal chemist or the script to be collected if that is usual for the patient.

We expect the specialist to tell the patient to contact the surgery if the medication has not been issued within two weeks of their appointment with the usual reason being the letter hasn’t yet reached our surgery. The chemists are now able to dispense medication as soon as we issue it electronically thanks to EPS4, the NHS’s electronic prescribing service.

Prescriptions are sometimes not issued for the following reasons:

1.  The patient notes indicate there is an allergy to the medication

2.  The patient is already taking a similar medication so they would get a toxic dose

3.  Monitoring of some kind is required before issue and the GP does not have the required information. The prescriber is responsible for any harm so we cannot issue anything if we do not think it safe

4.  The drug is discontinued, not prescribable on the NHS, hospital only medication or not part of the CCG formulary

5.  The drug is rare, the GP has never issued it before and doesn’t feel competent to do so

These are unusual but do occur. We try to let patients know if we are not prescribing but the volume of requests is so great we cannot inform everyone when their script has been done.

We hope this clarifies the situation. If you have any comments, please address them to Debbie Wheatley, Managing Partner.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:00 until 13:00
    14:00 until 18:00
  • Tuesday
    08:00 until 13:00
    14:00 until 18:00
  • Wednesday
    08:00 until 13:00
    14:00 until 18:00
  • Thursday
    08:00 until 13:00
    14:00 until 18:00
  • Friday
    08:00 until 13:00
    14:00 until 18:00
  • Saturday
  • Sunday