Primary Care News

GPs alerted 5 million times to recommend self-care

A national analysis of how practices in two thirds of CCGs using the OptimiseRx prescribing decision support tool has found GPs and other prescribers have been prompted 5 million times in the last year to promote self-care.

Thousands of professionals have been acting on the alerts, helping prescribers to comply with self-care prescribing guidelines from NHS England. The alerts also help discourage prescriptions for medications such as vitamin and mineral supplements, antifungal treatments, and laxatives for minor illnesses.

Darren Nichols, Managing Director, FDB comments “By working with practices across the country, we recognise the need for accurate, actionable information when prescribing decisions are being made. Using technology to remind GPs of ever evolving prescribing policy, including that around self-care and appropriate medication decisions, and ensuring that this is patient-specific, means that practice prescribers can rapidly access information that is appropriate for their patients. They can then make informed prescribing decisions that benefit the patient and the practice. From just one year’s worth of data, we can see the tremendous impact that such information can have.”

Analysis conducted between April 2018 to the end of March 2019 showed that 5 million alerts were sent to prescribers.

The technology has traditionally been used to help GPs make decisions that comply with local and national prescribing priorities. This includes alerting doctors when more cost-effective alternatives are available, and by providing patient-specific prescribing recommendations based on the patient’s record.