NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Prescribing from outpatient settings

The Area Drug & Therapeutics Committee has approved an updated policy on the supply of medicines from out-patient settings following specialist review.


The policy aims to clearly define and improve the processes for communication and supply of medicines when a patient has been seen by a specialist service or clinic. It sets out the various pathways for obtaining medicines based on how soon the medication is required, and whether it is available in primary care. It reinforces the importance of providing information for patients on the degree of urgency of the medication.


Key points:

  • Good communication between specialist and GP and patient is essential to facilitate timely prescribing and supply of medication.
  • The majority of prescribing recommendations will be for non-urgent changes, ie not requiring action within two working days.
  • Patients should be advised about the degree of urgency for the prescription.
  • Patients should be advised to be prepared to wait until the GP has reviewed the prescribing recommendation.
  • Some specialist clinicians based in hospital are able to write a Hospital Based Prescriber (HBP) prescription for dispensing by a community pharmacy, where immediate treatment is unnecessary, but the medicine is required within 48 hours (2 working days) of the OP appointment. The use of HBP pads varies between sectors and specialties due to local service requirements. 



Posted: February 12, 2016