NICE Guidance on Patient Group Directions (PGDs)
PGDs provide a legal framework that allows a medicine to be supplied or administered to a patient without a prescription.
PGDs are not currently widely used in independent hospitals as medication is usually prescribed by the hospital doctors or independent prescribers. However, PGDs can be a useful alternative to prescribing in a variety of clinical situations and can improve care for patients. For instance, a PGD for nicotine replacement therapy would enable treatment to commence without delay.
Only healthcare professionals (e.g. nurses) can administer medication from a PGD, and only after receiving appropriate training and authorisation. Nurses should follow the strict protocol in the PGD to ensure appropriate and safe treatment.
Ashtons was involved in producing this NICE guidance and can advise hospitals on the suitability of developing PGDs. We have also produced a training seminar on PGDs.