HC Deb 10 June 1985 vol 80 c363W
Mr. Meadowcroft

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he will assess the potential savings to the National Health Service by means of hospital doctors prescribing longer courses of drugs through hospital pharmacies for appropriate outpatients and inpatients who are being discharged, rather than arranging for an early prescription from the patient's general practitioner;

(2) whether he has any evidence of a fall in the period for which hospital doctors are prescribing drugs to be dispensed by hospital pharmacies, both for inpatients on discharge and for outpatients, thus requiring general practitioners to prescribe earlier as part of family practitioner services; and what is the additional cost to the National Health Service of this change in policy in the current year.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

We do not collect information on the length of time for which doctors prescribe. In any case, comparisons between the costs of hospital and general practice pharmacy cannot easily be made. However, our policy on out-patient prescribing—which is clearly understood by health authorities and must be followed by them — is that prescribing responsibility rests with the clinician who is responsible for the patient's clinical care. There should be no attempt to circumvent this policy for any financial reason.