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Thursday 20th October 2016

New guide for prescribing

8th June 2007

The NHS National Prescribing Centre has produced a guide in order to bolster Area Prescribing Committees (APCs) and make certain they can manage new changes to the NHS delivery system.


The writers behind the new guide say that recent developments indicate that changes are necessary in APCs. The developments include payment by results, Foundation Trusts and patient choice.

Pharmacist Catherine Picton and the director of strategic development and operations at the NPC, Steve Morris, assert the fact that there is "considerable variation" in how active APCs are, how much influence they exert and in their methods of operation.

Every committee has patients, clinicians and managers and are used to make sure a consistency of approach is employed in the management of prescriptions. A National Audit Office report stated that a "co-ordinated approach" should be taken to ensure "value-for-money" in prescription management.

The guide's authors consider an "active and efficient" APC as one which can support key guidance from bodies such as NICE and the NPSA. They want APCs to make sure medicines are safely and effectively employed and to ensure "robust standards and governance."

The guide will allow current APCs to, according to OnMedica: "review their work against a best practice framework."

The guide is intended to be used to help improve existing APCs "by helping members review and reinstate their roles and also act as a template for the establishment of new APCs."


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