What is a Shared Care Agreement?

Shared Care is when a Specialist asks a GP practice to take on responsibility for prescribing and monitoring medications usually only issued by Specialists. This might happen if you have been referred for a specific issue and a Specialist has made a diagnosis and put a treatment plan in place.

These agreements require all parties to accept shared care, and the ultimate responsibility for prescribing and monitoring remains with the Specialist.

I've been seen by a specialist and have been advised my GP will prescribe the medication, when can I expect my prescription?

Your medication will be commenced by your specialist until such time the medication is stable, at this point your specialist will write to us for consideration in taking over the prescribing, this process can take up to 2 weeks (once we have received the paperwork from the clinic), in the meantime your specialist can continue your prescriptions.

Patient Responsibilities whilst under a Shared Care Agreement 

It is important to understand your role in the Shared Care Process. Most Shared Care Drugs have to be closely monitored, therefore you will be called in for regular blood tests, Blood Pressure, BMI checks (depending on the medication requirements).

It is imperative that you comply with these requests and keep up to date with your monitoring, failure to do so will effect the practices ability to safely prescribe the medication and may mean that we have to return your care back to your specialist.

I am under a Private consultant, can my GP take over prescribing and monitoring?

If specialist care is accessed privately, it is the responsibility of the private clinician to provide prescriptions. If medication is intended to be prescribed long-term a private specialist may request that it is taken over by a GP. There is no obligation for GPs to prescribe a medication that was started by another clinician and a GP must be satisfied that any prescription is safe and appropriate, and in line with NHS guidelines and their prescribing competencies.

Medications started privately will only be continued to be prescribed by a GP if they are:

a) in line with NHS treatment guidelines

b) align with the local prescribing policy

c) are deemed to be safe and appropriate for the patient being treated

d) might normally be prescribed by a GP (i.e. not a specialist medication)

Some specialist medications (e.g. stimulants for ADHD, immunosuppressants, hormones used in gender affirming treatment) require a “shared care agreement”. This allows GPs to prescribe specialist medications under the oversight of a specialist, who continues to review the patient’s treatment. Although there are established local shared care agreements with NHS specialists, these are not in place for private prescribers and so we do not accept shared care agreements with private specialists. This means that any medication requiring a shared care agreement that is initiated by a private clinician will need to be prescribed directly by that clinician.

If I pay for my own Private prescription can I have my blood tests done at the practice?

Unfortunately not, this is because our clinical staff are only indemnified to undertake NHS work, we do not have additional cover to provide non-NHS Blood tests

Could the Doctor not just request the tests on the NHS?

The clinician requesting pathology remains clinically responsible for any results received. Patients under NHS Shared Care Agreement's are jointly monitored by the GP under the direction of a specialist, whereas Private Medications are not. GP's are not indemnified for monitoring Non-NHS Medications.