Safe Prescribing

Importance of Safe Prescribing Introduction

A quarter of litigation claims in the NHS stem from medication errors. To investigate this, the West Midlands Workforce Deanery commissioned a study to determine how foundation year doctors learn the principles of good prescribing practice.

The resulting report and the General Medical Council (GMC) EQUIP[1] study highlighted serious weaknesses in existing educational approaches indicating that many newly qualified doctors are poorly prepared for prescribing.

The study found that poor prescribing is widespread and results in the underuse of effective medicines; avoidable adverse drug reactions; and medication errors.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) e-learning

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an important topic that has serious implications for future practice. To assist all staff in the battle to beat AMR a new e-learning package has been produced on E-learning for Health website: it should be noted that this training has been generated to educate all levels of staff and should be used alongside other training such as the SCRIPT 'Principles of Prescribing in Infection' and 'Infection in Secondary Care' modules which provides more clinical and pharmacological detail regarding antimicrobial stewardship. 

More information relating to SCRIPT requirements can be found by clicking the links below:

Prescribing Assessments

There are two common prescribing assessments that Foundation Doctors may have to undertake during their programme, the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) and the Doctors Prescribing Assessment (DPA).

The PSA is mandated in all UK undergraduate medical degrees and must be successfully completed to pass onto F2. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that all Medical Graduates are competent to prescribe against the Prescribing Safety Assessment Blueprint. Information on the PSA is available here:

Across London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex various trusts undertake the DPA. The DPA has been designed to:

Test the practical application of doctors prescribing skills using local charts, guidelines and resources, with the aim of identifying prescribers who require further development in their prescribing skills and give opportunity to support them through targeted educational interventions.

Resources are available below to assist trainees with preparation to prescribing and assessment: