'Time pressures on GP's lead to prescription errors'
Professor Tony Avery, who led the research on prescription errors, has said that mistakes creep because of the time pressures on GPs and the fact that prescribing often happens at the end of a consultation when time is short.
Report: Prescribing is a skill that requires practice
The author of a report into errors in prescriptions has said that "prescribing is a skill" which he advised doctors to "take time to develop and keep up-to-date". Professor Tony Avery of the University of Nottingham's medical school, said:
GPs must ensure they have ongoing training in prescribing, and practices should ensure they have safe and effective systems in place for repeat prescribing and monitoring. I'd also encourage doctors to share their experiences of prescribing issues both informally within their practices, and also formally where appropriate through local or national reporting systems.
'Time pressures and lack of training to blame for faulty prescriptions'
Researchers who concluded that one in 20 prescriptions are in error also found that GPs take prescribing very seriously. They blame deficiencies in training, time pressures and lack of robust systems for ensuring that patients receive necessary blood tests.
GPs are typically very busy, so we have to ensure they can give prescribing the priority it needs. Using effective computer systems to ensure potential errors are flagged and patients are monitored correctly is a very important way to minimise errors. Doctors and patients could also benefit from greater involvement from pharmacists in supporting prescribing and monitoring.
– Professor Sir Peter Rubin, chairman, General Medical Council