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GP prescribing – a good standard but improvement possible

 

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GP prescribing – a good standard but improvement possible

A major study of GP prescribing has found that while the vast majority of prescriptions written by family doctors are appropriate and effectively monitored, around 1 in 20 contain an error.

Researchers looking at a sample of GP practices in England found that where there were errors, most were classed as mild or moderate, but around 1 in every 550 prescription items was judged to contain a serious error. The most common errors were missing information on dosage, prescribing an incorrect dosage, and failing to ensure that patients got necessary monitoring through blood tests.

The research, commissioned by the General Medical Council, is the largest-scale study of its kind. It provides an important insight into how errors in prescribing come about.