Recommendation prescriptions are a tool for GPs to use with patients who attend the surgery with self-treatable conditions which are suitable for self care.
They are particularly helpful for those who may need guidance on what treatments are available over-the-counter now that restrictions on prescribing have been introduced and GPs have been asked not to routinely prescribe certain items
Simple and effectiveWhen you decide that the most appropriate action is to recommend self care, you can issue a recommendation for a suitable OTC product. The patient can then choose to purchase this from a pharmacy or other retailer. This method has already been used successfully in health systems including those in Germany and Northern Ireland. In Germany, for instance, recommendation prescriptions have been shown
In Germany, recommendation prescriptions have been shown to reduce dependence on primary care servicesto reduce dependence on primary care services since most people remember the recommendation and choose to self care the next time they experience the same symptoms. Recommendation prescriptions can also play a role in social prescribing, acting as physical reminders of the activity prescribed, or as notes of referral to link workers or signposting to connect people to wider community support.
Top tips for success
Use the PAGB OTC Directory to identify suitable products to recommend
Write down the product and dose
Refer to the pictures to help patients recognise products in store
Tell patients why you’re giving them a recommendation
Remind them that pharmacists are great sources of self care advice.