Skip navigation
Due to planned maintenance, our registration systems, including your online account and the online application system, will be unavailable from 8 – 10 March 2024. Find out more

New principles for those prescribing remotely

08 Nov 2019

The ability to speak with healthcare professionals via phone, video-conference and email significantly increases accessibility for service-users, but it is imperative these services do not impact on their safety.

We have collaborated with other regulators, professional bodies, and education providers to create a set of principles to help protect patient safety outlining the good practice expected of healthcare professionals when prescribing medication online.

The ten principles, underpinned by existing standards and guidance, include that healthcare professionals are expected to:

  • Understand how to identify vulnerable patients and take appropriate steps to protect them;
  • Carry out clinical assessments and medical record checks to ensure medication is safe and appropriate; and
  • Raise concerns when adequate patient safeguards aren’t in place.

These principles apply to all healthcare professionals involved in providing consultations and medication to patients remotely. For HCPC this includes our chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, paramedics, physiotherapists, diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.

‘The ability to speak with healthcare professionals via phone, video-conference and email significantly increases accessibility for service-users, but it is imperative these services do not impact on their safety.

‘Registered professionals delivering online services have the same obligations to follow our guidance and to prescribe safely as they would do in face-to-face interactions.

‘These principles re-enforce the importance of prioritising the safety and welfare of patients when prescribing remotely. We hope they also provide a useful tool, supporting professionals and service-users to call out where unsafe practice is taking place, expecting this to be acted upon.’

John Barwick

Interim Chief Executive

The principles have been co-authored by the following organisations:
  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

  • Care Quality Commission

  • Faculty of Pain Medicine

  • General Dental Council

  • General Medical Council

  • General Optical Council

  • General Pharmaceutical Council

  • Health and Care Professions Council

  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland

  • Healthcare Inspectorate Wales

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council

  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

Page updated on: 08/11/2019
Top