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GPs could revert to paper scripts so patients can shop around for antibiotics

GPs could revert to paper scripts so patients can shop around for antibiotics

Exclusive GPs may need to revert to paper prescriptions rather than electronic to allow patients to obtain antibiotics from pharmacies that have them in stock, according to local NHS guidance issued in light of ‘rapidly fluctuating’ stock levels.

The UK Government has denied reports of a shortage in antibiotics used to treat Strep A despite claims by national pharmaceutical representatives.

However, in an email issued by Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board’s medicines optimisation team, seen by Pulse, GPs are encouraged to take steps to help manage the situation.

This includes reserving liquid medicines for those that cannot take tablets or capsules, advising patients that they may need to try several pharmacies to find items, and exploring the possibility of regular stock reports from local pharmacies.

GPs were also told to expect to re-do scripts if pharmacists did not have the right medicines in stock and, when prescribing antibiotics, doing so on a separate script to any other medications. They have also been asked to consider sending EPS prescriptions with a one-off nomination, no nomination or issuing a paper FP10, which is easier to take to different pharmacies.

‘This is a national problem and will affect all pharmacies and is starting to affect dispensing practices. Community pharmacy is doing its best to manage what is a national problem caused by global issues and are trying to ensure they have stock available, however, it will vary across the system, and from day to day,’ the email said.

‘The ICB and LPC are monitoring the situation closely, but things are changing rapidly. Locally the main thing we can do is for healthcare providers to keep communication channels open so we can all work together to help patients.’


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 7 December, 2022 9:31 pm

So you scared the public about Strep A. But, now, don’t want to put a scare story that you don’t have antibiotics.

Matt Hancock 7 December, 2022 9:38 pm

This doesnt make sense. Surely you would just text them the EPS code so they can shop around? Who wrote this?

Anonymous 8 December, 2022 12:37 am

Amazon prime society will not like this.

Iain Chalmers 8 December, 2022 7:32 am

If they had them I guess, used to be favourite target of CQC inspector.

Storage, handling and accountability train of paper FP 10

12 & counting

David OHagan 8 December, 2022 8:14 am

The small pieces of green paper were not affected by this in any way nor were the digital watches

Mark Howson 8 December, 2022 8:58 am

Had a patient yesterday who I gave a scrip for penicillin tablets. She tried 4 chemist and none had the tablets. She came back to us and Luckily it was an OOH service so we gave some of our TTO stock normally used for when chemist shut. So seems to be not just liquid.

Simon Gilbert 8 December, 2022 4:51 pm

This story and headline is unhelpful as it should explain how EPS tokens work. All week we’ve been issuing as ‘EPS any pharmacy’ then the patient can take the token (and code as above) to any pharmacy. Doesn’t matter if it is printed to pdf and sent, printed on scrap paper or printed on a green script.

Dave Haddock 9 December, 2022 1:58 pm

Some of have reverted to routine paper scrips for this very reason. All sorts of stuff goes AWOL, not just antibiotics, as does the IT system.