Prescribing Support

About Us
The Prescribing Support Unit of the RDTC is a commissioned service that provides strategic prescribing support services to Clinical Commissioning Groups, other primary care organisations, and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England.

This encompasses primary care prescribing analysis, supporting local decision making groups, conducting high quality critical appraisals of recently-licensed or existing drugs on the UK market and by providing expert training.

National recommendations state that localities should have access (either employed or via a commissioned service) to staff with the specialist skills in evidence synthesis and critical appraisal if they are to review and make decisions on the use of medicines.  Commissioning the RDTC to provide this support enables commissioners to access specialist expertise without duplicating job roles or positions in each locality. Shared working arrangements across staff employed by the RDTC afford economies of scale to commissioners of the service. In addition working collaboratively across regions allows the centre to facilitate sharing of best practice and aims to support reduction in variations.

Support provided by the RDTC in prescribing and medicines management aims to help primary care organisations address some of the challenges associated with high deprivation and high disease prevalence and the impact this has on the prescribing budget.  Regular prescribing data comparing organisations motivates them to make changes to prescribing, particularly in areas where they may be considered to be outliers.  Highlighting areas where savings could be made and cost effectiveness improved assists stakeholders to target therapeutic areas in their localities where further investigation may yield cost savings that enable more patients to be treated, and/or can be invested in other areas of prescribing or other services.

Who uses this service?
We provide our services to NHS healthcare professionals across the North of England, particularly primary care pharmaceutical and medical advisers, GPs and other prescribers, and NHS Hospital Trust Chief Pharmacists.

If you are a patient, please contact your GP or the NHS 111 service for further advice on medical conditions and treatments.

Who works here?
The centre employs a range of highly skilled specialist staff with the skills and expertise to be able to provide support in most aspects of prescribing, medicines management and medicines information.

The Prescribing Analysis and Support Unit of the RDTC is staffed by pharmacists, information scientists, data analysts, a statistician and medical support is provided by a consultant physician.

See our staff list page

When can I contact the service?
This service is available during the following hours:
Monday to Friday             09:00 – 17:00

Contact Prescribing Support
Regional Drug & Therapeutics Centre
16/17 Framlington Place
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AB
Tel: 0191 213 7855 (office hours)
Fax. 0191 261 8839