Non medical prescribing in Scotland: implementation guide

Implementation guidance for nurse independent prescribers and for community practitioner nurse prescribers in Scotland.

Appendix 8: Loss of prescription forms

1. Practitioner Services Division ( PSD) should be contacted about prescriptions ordered, but not delivered.

2. Practice-based nurse prescribers should report the loss or theft to the Prescribing Lead as soon as possible after the theft/loss is confirmed, giving details of the approximate number of scripts stolen, their identification numbers, and where and when they were lost or stolen. The nurse should inform the GP (where appropriate) as soon as s/he is aware of missing scripts.

3. The GP should ensure that the nurse prescriber has informed the prescribing lead within the NHS Board by telephone, as soon as s/he is aware that any prescription forms have been stolen from the nurse in her/his team.

4. The Prescribing Lead should notify the Fraud Liaison Officer ( FLO) at the NHS Board who should notify the local pharmacists and decide upon any necessary action to minimise the abuse of the forms. The FLO should notify the National Services Scotland, Counter Fraud Services who will maintain a database of lost/stolen prescription forms.

5. Following the reported loss of a prescription form the Prescribing Lead will normally tell the prescriber to write and sign all scripts in a particular colour (usually red) for a period of 2 months. The NHS Board will inform all pharmacies in their area and adjacent NHS Boards of the name and address of the prescriber concerned, the approximate number of scripts stolen and the period within which the prescriber will write in a specific colour. This will normally be put in writing within 24 hours with the exception of weekends.

6. In the event of a loss or suspected theft from a hospital-based nurse prescriber, s/he should report this immediately to whoever issued the prescription forms (normally the hospital pharmacy) and the local fraud specialist or finance director of the Board. The nurse should give details of the number of scripts stolen, their serial numbers, and where and when they were stolen. Thereafter hospital-based prescribers should follow local instructions following the loss of theft of prescription forms - this may include writing and signing all scripts in a particular colour (usually red) for a period of 2 months.

7. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that prescription pads are retrieved from nurses or midwives who leave their employment for whatever reason. Prescription pads should be securely destroyed, e.g. by shredding and treated as confidential waste. It is advisable to record first and last serial numbers of the pads destroyed. Failure to recover prescription forms may potentially incur a cost, as any item prescribed on forms after nurses have left employment would still be charged to the appropriate budget.

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