Domain 2:

Safety and Quality: Prescribing

Choice of Topic

The below provides suggestions for the type of stimuli that might prompt you to review an area of prescribing.

Prescribing Data

Self-collected Data

  • As a sessional GP I do not have access to personalised prescribing data, so have kept a list of the last 50 prescriptions for antibiotics / analgesics that I have issued. This indicates that I need to review this area.
  • I do not have access to personalised prescribing data, so have surveyed the use of analgesics / antibiotics within my organisation.

Prescribing Information System for Scotland (PRISMS)

  • My PRISMS suggests that my prescribing differs from the average GP in cost / cost per patient / number of prescriptions in prescribing in one or more BNF sections.
  • My prescribing adviser has produced a report that suggests myself/ my practice is deviating from average prescribing in this field.


  • I have audited the management of condition X in my practice or organisation, and found that prescribing in this area could be improved.

Significant Event Analysis

  • An event occurred which highlighted the fact that prescribing in condition Y could be improved.

Stimulus Event

  • A new guideline has been published which suggests that prescribing in area Z needs to be reviewed.
  • An MHRA report arrived which suggests that prescribing in area Y needs to be reviewed.
  • Unusual Request - I received a letter asking me to prescribe a drug which is not recommended in our formulary / is unlicensed in this indication.

It is entirely appropriate in some circumstances to use organisational data rather than personal data as evidence for the value of a prescribing review, for instance practice data, regional data, out-of-hours service information. However, some individual impact needs to be demonstrated, although this impact need not be solely personal. For instance, a survey of out-of-hours antibiotic prescribing might suggest a need that the organisation develops a policy in this area, the development of which you lead, or contribute to.

This page was last updated on: 15/05/2015