Medicines and Prescribing

The Medicines and Prescribing team supports GP practices to help ensure that the people of Solihull get the best possible outcomes from Solihull CCG's investment in medicines. The team promotes and facilitates high quality, safe, evidence-based, cost-effective prescribing and use of medicines across the health economy. The pharmacists and technicians within the Medicines and Prescribing team work with GP practices to:

  • help deliver the best clinical outcomes (including implementing NICE guidance)
  • promote appropriate use of antibiotics
  • help patients use inhalers correctly
  • help reduce medicines waste
  • review medicines prescribed for care home and other frail residents
  • respond to medication safety alerts

Prescribing 

Prescribing is a key component of medicines management. Doctors and other professional staff (collectively called “prescribers”) can prescribe medicines (and certain non-medicines) for patients in their care using a written order, or prescription. 

Whilst prescribers have the freedom to prescribe whatever they think is appropriate for their patients, they are expected to take into account the evidence for the safety, clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the medicines they prescribe. 

Formularies 

A formulary is a locally maintained document which lists the medicines that are deemed suitable for prescribing within the clinical commissioning group (CCG) and local health economy. 

Medicines that are included on the local formulary are assessed by a committee of clinicians and medicines experts for their suitability for local use. The committee will generally assess medicines in terms of safety, clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and patient preferences. 

Most medicines accepted for use will be prescribable by GPs and hospital doctors, but some will have local restrictions on their use. Some will be prescribable in limited circumstances and some will only be prescribable in hospital settings. Some medicines won’t be included on the formulary at all. All prescribers are expected to take into account whether the medicine they intend to prescribe is on the formulary.

You can access our formulary website to view all current formulary information by clicking the link below: Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and environs Joint Formulary 

Patient information

pdf Medicines waste information written for patients and the public (2.74 MB)

  • Please only order the medicines that you need at the time.
  • Last year the cost of unused medicines in Solihull could have funded nearly 1,000 more routine operations
  • Once medicines have left the pharmacy they cannot be reused, recycled or used by anyone else – all returned medicines have to be destroyed
  • Check what medicines you still have at home before re-ordering
  • Only tick the boxes on the repeat prescription form for those medicines you need at the time
  • Let your GP or pharmacist know if you've stopped taking any of your medicines
  • Only ask someone else to order your prescription for you if it's really helping you to get the medicines you need

pdf Antibiotic patient leaflet (358 KB)

  • Colds and most coughs, sinusitis, earaches and sore throats often get better without antibiotics.
  • This leaflet shows how long these illnesses usually last, what you can do to help and when you should seek further help if worried.
  • It is important that you only take antibiotics when they are needed. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. They become 'antibiotic resistant' so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.

  pdf Vitamin D leaflet (446 KB)

  • What vitamin D is and where we get it from
  • Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency
  • Testing for vitamin D deficiency
  • How to increase vitamin D levels

'Choosing Wisely' video by James McCormack on YouTube

Policies

Policies written for GP practices but of interest to patients: