§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will instruct family practitioner authorities to exclude from their consideration, when determining the indicative budget or prescribing amount for a particular practice or general practitioner, any sum likely to arise from the transfer of prescribing costs from hospital consultants to general practitioners in those circumstances where patients attend hospital out-patient clinics on a continuing basis and to make separate provision for such amounts.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
It is not necessary to introduce such a procedure.
It has been the policy of successive Governments that where a hospital doctor has clinical responsibility for a particular aspect of an out-patient's treatment, he should 435W prescribe, where a GP has that responsibility, he should prescribe, and where the two doctors share care they should decide between them who should prescribe, bearing in mind the patient's convenience.
As announced in working paper 4 of the national health service review series, regional health authorities will be expected to examine out-patient prescribing policies within their region, to take a view of what is properly hospital or GP prescribing, and to establish budgets for their district health authorities and family health services authorities on the basis of conformity with the Government's policy. The amount set for each practice under the indicative prescribing scheme will cover the needs of all its patients including prescriptions initiated by a hospital doctor where the GP has taken over or agreed to share care.