Patient Group Directions (PGDs), in existence since August 2000, constitute a legal framework which allows certain health care professionals to supply and administer medicines to groups of patients that fit the criteria laid out in the PGD. So, a health care professional could supply (for example, provide an inhaler or tablets) and / or administer a medicine (for example, give an injection or a suppository) directly to a patient without the need for a prescription or an instruction from a prescriber. PGDs allow the supply and administration of specified medicines to patients who fall into a group defined in the PGD; using a PGD is not a form of prescribing. Unlike nurse and pharmacist prescribing, health care professionals entitled to work with a PGD require no additional formal qualification. However, for a PGD to be valid, certain criteria must be met both in terms of the patient group that the PGD can be used for, and in how the PGD itself is drawn up. Organisations also have a responsibility to ensure that only fully competent, trained health care professionals use PGDs.
For information - All legal signed copies of all PGDs are held centrally at CCG HQ offices.
The National Prescribing Centre have produced "A practical guide and framework of competencies for all professionals using patient group directions" which can be accessed below:
The BMA have produced a reference document "Patient Group Directions and Patient Specific Directions in general practice" which can be accessed below:
All material in this section is aimed at health professionals, but is information currently held within the public domain. Members of the public seeking advice on medicine-related matters are encouraged to speak with their GP, pharmacist or nurse, or contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.