The CCG intends to ensure that GP prescribing in West Suffolk is safe, clinically appropriate and cost effective. Good medicines management can help to reduce the likelihood of medication errors and hence patient harm.
Prescribers are encouraged to adhere to a range of recommendations designed to maximise patient care whilst encouraging cost effective prescribing. Savings from GP prescribing are channelled back into front line patient care. For example:
- 80% of prescriptions for common types of blood pressure medication to be prescribed as generics from the same class, which are cheaper but just as effective
- 50% of prescriptions for commonly prescribed asthma inhalers to be prescribed as inhalers that are cheaper, but are just as effective
- 98% of prescriptions for commonly prescribed steroid tablets to be prescribed as plain tablets without a special coating. The special coating does not provide additional benefits for the patient, but makes the tablets more expensive.
Further recommendations include:
- Review of prescribing of drugs that are considered to be of low priority, poor value for money, or for which there are safer alternatives available
- Medication reviews for patients who have complex problems and take a large number of different medicines. This is to simplify their treatments if possible and to identify drugs that are no longer needed
- Review of patients prescribed food supplements, gluten free foods and baby milks to ensure prescribing is appropriate
- Ensuring adherence to NICE technology appraisals
- Promoting adherence to the Suffolk antibiotic formulary and guidelines for treating pain, using a recognised stepped approach
- Promoting adherence to the prescribing recommendations issued by the Suffolk Drug and Therapeutics Committee and Clinical Priorities Group.
Implementation of a care home/elderly strategy to:
- Work holistically with all stakeholders to improve the clinical outcomes for the elderly, patients in care homes and sheltered housing
- Implement “the patient passport” to improve the pathway and information flow across the primary/secondary care interface for patients in care homes to support the reduction in A&E attendance and admissions longer than 3 days
- Carry out medication reviews to enhance the effectiveness of prescribing, optimise clinical outcomes and reduce waste
- Work across interfaces to identify and support patients in taking their medicines
- Support proactive management of patients with dementia to reduce antipsychotic prescribing
- Consider the introduction of a service to manage cellulitis in the community.
We will ensure that appropriate cost-effective prescribing is an integral part of all pathway redesign.