§ Mr. Fortescue
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the terms of reference of regional medical officers who call on general practitioners and discuss their prescribing with them; and what proportion of these regional medical officers has had recent full-time experience in general practice or medical teaching.
§ Mr. Crossman:
Under the provision of paragraph 7(14)(d) of the terms of service for General Medical Practitioners enacted in Part 1 Schedule 1 of S.I.1966 No. 1210 The Nationath Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 1966 the regional medical officer visits a general medical practitioner to discuss his prescribing habits. The basis of this discussion can either be a statistical analysis of the practitioner's prescribing pattern in comparison with his colleagues, or it can be any unsual prescription or series of prescriptions. All the regional medical officers have had extensive experience of general medical practice immediately before joining the Department and arrangements are made to keep their knowledge of prescribing up to date.