Majority of medical professionals feel face-to-face prescribing ensures greater patient safety

Nearly two thirds of medical professionals (65 per cent) surveyed believe that face-to-face prescribing ensures greater patient safety. according to new research published by the Medical Defence Union (MDU).

In the survey of 475 medical members, which focused on remote prescribing, the MDU found that an overwhelming majority (93%) believe that remote prescribing will continue post-pandemic, and that the majority (55%) do feel confident in prescribing remotely, as opposed to 18% who do not.

The MDU also found that the issues members were most concerned about when prescribing remotely were:

  • ensuring a patient has a safe and confidential place to access healthcare remotely (37%)
  • prescribing for people who need additional monitoring (36%)
  • an adverse event (27%).

Dr Edward Farnan, medico-legal adviser at the MDU said,

"As consultations moved online during the pandemic, doctors have become even more adept at assessing patients virtually. Prescribing remotely can be a convenient, safe and reasonable option, so long as the prescribing doctor has the necessary information, is able to make a satisfactory assessment and can converse with the patient in an appropriate manner."

The survey was held as part of the MDU's 'GMC's prescribing guidance' webinar, which focused on topics including:

  • the GMC's new guidance and how this impacts day to day practice
  • medico-legal factors to consider when prescribing remotely
  • the pitfalls of shared care, unlicensed medication and self-prescribing.

Available for a limited time only, medical professionals can watch the webinar on-demand here.

The MDU surveyed 475 members in May 2021, a 70.47% response rate.

This page was correct at publication on 01/06/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.