Private Prescriptions

Prescribing of medicines following assessment or treatment by a Private doctor or consultant

If you are entitled to NHS care you do not lose your entitlement to further NHS treatment if you choose to buy additional private care. This section explains our responsibilities when asked to prescribe a medicine after your appointment with a private doctor or consultant or consultant.

Whenever a GP or nurse prescriber prescribes a medicine for you they are taking full responsibility for your care, even if the medicine is recommended for you by another doctor. It, therefore, cannot always be expected that you will be prescribed the medicine(s) recommended for you by the private doctor or consultant or consultant.

Please be aware that your GP or nurse prescriber may not agree to prescribe the medicine in the following circumstances:

  • The GP or nurse prescriber has not had adequate communication from the private doctor or consultant to explain the reasons why you need the medicine.
  • The GP or nurse prescriber does not believe the medicine is appropriate or necessary for you.
  • The medicine is not licensed or is being used outside of its licensed use in
  • The GP or nurse prescriber does not feel they have the specialist expertise to monitor the medicine and to ensure it is safe and working for you.
  • The use of the medicine is not in line with national or local prescribing guidelines.
  • Your GP or nurse prescriber believes that a different medicine which is very similar and commonly prescribed on the NHS will be just as effective or appropriate for you to take instead.
  • You are seen by a private doctor or consultant/specialist without referral from your NHS GP or nurse prescriber.

Please note that the same rules apply if another NHS doctor – for example hospital doctor – asks your GP or nurse prescriber to prescribe a medicine for you, not just a private doctor or consultant. If the GP or nurse prescriber cannot prescribe the medicine, they will give you a clear explanation of the reason for this and will also contact your private doctor or consultant. Your GP or nurse prescriber may give you the option of having a different but equally effective medicine prescribed on the NHS or you may wish to pay privately for the original medicine via your private doctor or consultant.