The doctors at Harborne Medical often receive requests to prescribe medication on behalf of private doctors under “shared care” agreements.
Shared care with private doctors carries higher risks than shared care with NHS doctors and therefore decisions on this will be made on a case by case basis following discussion at a partners’ meeting. We will not usually agree to shared care where the diagnosis has not been made by a consultant or if the ongoing care is not carried out by a consultant.
The decision to share care, or not to, will be based on review of some of the following factors:
• Whether the consultant is on the appropriate GMC specialist register and a member of the relevant Royal College and based in the UK.
• Whether the consultant holds, or has held in the past, a substantive NHS consultant post in the same specialty as the one in which they are now practising privately.
• How often the consultant proposes to review the patient. If private review stops then prescribing by the practice will no longer be safe and will have to stop, possibly with little or no notice. For patients who are on an NHS waiting list, sharing care with a private consultant would be an interim measure until care is taken over by the NHS.
• The level of support provided to Harborne Medical by the private consultant – we would expect an email response within two working days for any queries.
• The nature of the prescribing – shared care is more likely to be possible if the drug is one which is licensed for the indication and would usually be given in this situation under NHS care.
Any ongoing monitoring tests will need to be arranged by the private consultant, at the patient’s expense. The doctors at Harborne Medical do not request or interpret tests on behalf of other doctors. Decisions on monitoring and dose changes will need to be taken by the consultant.