Prescribing in Foundation Year

Foundation doctors will have experienced prescribing within a hospital setting via outpatient work, ward rounds, emergency and ‘out of hours’ prescribing. Many prescriptions are appropriate, correctly written and checked by a dispensing pharmacist. Feedback on incorrect prescriptions happens through the pharmacy department, significant event reporting, supervisor’s comments and rarely but unfortunately prescribing errors, which may result in patient safety issues. The Foundation Curriculum covers prescribing competencies in detail and can be found on

Foundation doctors are able to prescribe in primary care both in the surgery and on home visits. Although Foundation trainees will be registered with the GMC and are able to prescribe, the supervising GP trainer should make a judgement as to the degree of supervision required during prescribing to patients. Feedback from current Foundation supervising practices indicates that F2 doctors are able to acquire skills in the use of various clinical computer systems used in primary care and that prescribing appears to be appropriate. Many Foundation doctors are acquiring skills in computer prescribing and working with General Practitioners and community pharmacists in using generic drugs according to national guidelines.

Very few handwritten prescriptions are now required during a consultation but remember during the induction at the practice, to ask about controlled drug prescriptions and how these should be written. For addition advice your local pharmacist will be able to go through the correct way of writing a prescription for prescribing controlled drugs in the community.

Please remember that the green prescription pad (FP10) in the surgery is an extremely important document and should be treated with care and security. Prescription pads should be kept in a secure place when not in use. If prescriptions are taken out of the surgery during a house visit, then unused scripts should be returned to the practice for safety.

Any loss of prescriptions should be reported to the practice immediately. Remember, if in doubt - Ask!

Most GP practices have a procedure for storage, use and disposal of FP10 prescriptions and this should be covered during the practice induction.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:19

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