All amendments made to a PGD, including minor ones require a PGD to be reauthorised. Even where review of a PGD results in no changes it must still be reauthorised and re-dated accordingly. Reauthorising requires the agreement of, and resigning by, the development signatories (i.e. the doctor/dentist, pharmacist and member of professional group using the PGD) and the signatory responsible for authorising PGDs on behalf of the organisation.
The process for review and reauthorisation should be described in the local PGD policy and procedure and the process should be supported by the organisation’s multidisciplinary PGD working group or local equivalent.
Local arrangements should be in place to ensure that all healthcare professionals working under a PGD are made aware of any changes made and when a new version is released and that they are reauthorised to operate under the updated version.
When an updated or revised PGD is released there is a risk that an incorrect version is used by a practitioner. To reduce the risk to organisations it is suggested that:
- Electronic systems are utilised wherever possible.
- There is a robust version control for documents.
- There is effective communication to all users as versions change, preferably with a feedback loop to confirm receipt and understanding of changes.
- Ensure that documents contain a warning that if a printed version is being referred to it may not be the most up to date and should be checked against the local online portal for PGDs.
- As individuals working under a PGD will need to be re authorised and sign their individual agreement, there should also be a robust governance process to support this in each organisation.
The organisation authorising PGDs may be requested to demonstrate how it deals with changes/new documents and provide as evidence e.g. for a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.
If a PGD nearing its expiry date and consideration is being given to extending the expiry date please refer to the Q&A ‘Is extension of an expiry date of a PGD allowed without review and re-authorisation of the PGD?’ for further advice.