§ Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether there is any legal requirement for hospital medical staff to consult a patient's own doctor before prescribing any particular sort of drug; and what liability falls on the hospital if such a consultation does not take place and the patient suffers from severe side effects.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
There is no legal requirement for hospital medical staff to consult a patient's own doctor before prescribing any particular drug. The decision whether to consult a general practitioner is a matter for professional judgment in the individual case, as is the amount of information provided by a GP when referring a patient to hospital. Whether lack of consultation could give rise to a claim of negligence against a hospital or a consultant would depend on the facts of each individual case.