The preferred way for individuals to receive medicines is for trained health professionals to prescribe for individuals on a one-to-one basis. The intent of this statement is to help ensure that medicines are only ever supplied in circumstances using a PGD when it is appropriate and legal.
Patient Group Directions NICE MPG2 (2017) states that the majority of clinical care involving supplying and/or administering medicines should be on an individual, patient-specific basis and the supply or administration of medicines under PGDs should be reserved for those limited situations where this offers advantage for care without compromising patient safety.
It is for individual organisations to decide which mechanism(s) to use, taking account of safety, the needs of individuals and how the particular service is being structured and delivered.
As NICE MPG2 2017 acknowledges, local interpretation has allowed PGDs to be used in a wide range of circumstances, provided that this can be done safely.
PGDs are not intended for the management of long term conditions or the long-term/open ended supply of medicines to individuals. However the legislation does not prevent PGDs being used for the supply of repeat contraception or the administration of a second dose of a vaccine where each supply/administration is a clearly defined episode of care rather than long term management of a medical condition. The part of definition of a PGD that states that it ‘….applies to patients who may not be individually identified before presenting for treatment’ does not mean that an individual cannot be known to the service in advance of a medicine being supplied or administered.
Therefore, if the PGD is used for a repeat supply or repeat administration of a medicine, each practitioner working under the PGD needs to assess the individual against the PGD for each discrete episode of care and ensure that records are maintained in line with the requirements of the PGD. Where appropriate robust referral and information transfer processes should be in place.
- Content reviewed by SPS PGD Service Advisory Board as part of rolling content review and republished.