Private Prescriptions


Conversion to NHS Prescriptions Policy

Private prescriptions are written for medications which your private Doctor has recommended for you. A private prescription is not an NHS prescription and so it is not paid for by the NHS.

A prescription is a legal document. The prescriber takes responsibility for the patient’s use of that medication and for its monitoring. The prescriber  needs to be confident that they have all of the relevant information available to consider the appropriateness of the medication and any associated risks (especially in cases where they have not been involved in the referral). In cases where a private Doctor has assessed the patient and written a private prescription, the GP cannot change the prescription to an NHS prescription, and therefore transfer responsibility, when they have not been the doctor who has assessed the patient and that the suggested medication is safe.

The Portchester Practice does not have an obligation to convert privately issued prescriptions to NHS prescriptions. Additionally, we do not take on prescribing responsibility where a private shared care agreement is suggested by the private provider.

In cases where a private doctor has written to The Portchester Practice making a suggestion that a GP prescribes a particular medication, we do not have an obligation to do this. If a private opinion is sought by a patient, any recommended medications would need to be prescribed as a private prescription by the private doctor. This also applies if a patient is self-funding private care, rather than accessing private care via private medical insurance.

We reserve the right for our GPs to assess any requests for prescribing in accordance with a private doctor’s recommendations on an individual basis for those patients with life threatening conditions.

You should take a privately-issued prescription to any pharmacy and bear the cost yourself, and please note that the cost will be the price of the medication and NOT the standard NHS prescription fee.

Our GPs and other NHS prescribers have to adhere to strict guidelines, formularies, licensing information and protocols applicable to NHS prescriptions. Some items cannot be prescribed in primary care (i.e. by a GP rather than a hospital consultant). An NHS prescription can only be provided if the medication would usually be provided on the NHS.

Once a patient has been established and stabilised on their new medication by their private doctor, our GPs will consider taking on the responsibility for ongoing prescribing of the medication. This will only be considered when we have received clear and detailed information from the relevant private Consultant/provider including their recommendations, dosage, treatment plans and clinical justification. This can take up to 2 weeks and it is NOT our responsibility to chase this up.