Receptionists are often the first point of contact in general practice for patients when it comes to ordering their repeat medications or when they have a query concerning them.

More and more, practices are developing members of the administrative team to take on this role as a complete or large proportion of their daily tasks and identifying them as ‘Prescription Clerks’.  Collaboration between clinical and administrative staff is crucial to maintaining the quality and safety of prescribing.

At the PMA we pride ourselves on the understanding that one size doesn’t fit all and – therefore, we have various formats of our workshops and can adapt any programme / agenda to suit your local needs and necessaries – so, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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Who should attend?

Don't miss opportunity to work with leading specialists in a series of full day workshops specifically focused on the ‘business’ aspects of General Practice.
  • Practice Managers
  • Receptionists

  • Administrative Staff


The Developing the Role of a Prescription Clerk module is aimed at practice managers, receptionists and administrative staff with a background knowledge and experience of Medicines Management within General Practice. The module aims to further expand and develop the skills of those members of non-clinical staff who wish to take a lead in this area within the practice and undertake of the role of a ‘prescription clerk’.

The module builds upon the areas of compliance with medicines and medicines waste, discussed in the Introduction to Medicines Management module and offers the learner the practical opportunity to practice application of the knowledge that they have developed in these areas.

After undertaking the training, learners will have an increased awareness of the process of repeat prescribing, the monitoring requirements for some common medicines and will be able to discuss the problems encountered when prescribing antibiotics. The course will also provide them with the opportunity to gain practical skills in identifying therapeutic duplication, over and under use of medicines and problems encountered with discharge prescriptions.  Furthermore, learners will be given time to discuss some of the common problems that they regularly experience, to develop their customer care  and audit skills, to network with their peers and to develop action plans that can be implemented in their workplaces to develop the role of a ‘Prescription Clerk’.

Developing the role of a ‘Prescription Clerk’ within the practice, with dedicated time to fulfil the responsibilities of this role can present a challenging cultural shift for some teams but we will explore the need to change and the benefits these changes can have.

Successful and safe Medicines Management is reliant on the following principles:

  1. Robust protocols agreed by both clinical and non-clinical staff, which clearly outline the responsibilities and when escalation to a clinical member of the team is required
  2. A commitment from the whole team to support staff in delivering the role of ‘Prescription Clerk’ and dedicated time to fulfil this role
  3. Continuing audit of activity and outcomes including complaints and significant or serious incidents.

Training Recommendations

All staff who wish to undertake the Developing the Role of a Prescription Clerk module and develop their skills as a ‘Prescription Clerk’:

  • Should be experienced GP Practice and or Pharmacy staff and understand the course outcomes
  • Will have to demonstrate how they have applied the skills and knowledge gained back in their workplaces and their work will be audited and monitored on an ongoing basis back in the practice.

Practice requirements

All practices who wish to send staff to attend the Developing the Role of a Prescription Clerk module and develop the role of ‘Prescription Clerk’ should:

  • Commit to allowing the staff member time to attend the training course
  • Support the staff member in developing the role of ‘Prescription Clerk’ in the practice
  • Ensure that robust protocols are developed and agreed by both clinical and non-clinical members of the team, which clearly identifies the responsibilities of each and when it is necessary for the non-clinical member staff member to escalate up to the clinical staff member
  • Agree that overall responsibility for prescribing remains with the medical or non-medical prescriber who should ultimately check and sign the prescription
  • Understand that implementation must be continually monitored, audited and significant or critical events reviewed, reflected upon and actioned appropriately.

Workshop Agenda

Below is an outline of the proposed agenda, if you have any questions please get in touch.

Welcome & Introduction
Exercise – what do attendees wish to learn from the day?
Learning objectives

  • Overview of the learning outcomes
  • Developing the role of a Prescription Clerk
  • The benefits to General Practice
Medicines and prescribing

  • Legal classification of medicines
  • Legal requirements of a prescription
  • Common abbreviations
  • Acute, repeat, automatics
  • Non – medical prescribers
  • The life cycle of a prescription
  • Drug allergies and intolerances
  • Yellow card reporting
Introduction to the BNF

  • Sections of the BNF
  • Exercises
    • Identifying therapeutic duplication
    • Identifying drug interactions
MHRA drug alerts
Medicines Compliance

  • Identifying under and over use
  • 7 day prescriptions
  • Compliance aids
  • Disability Discrimination Act
  • Synchronisation
Drug monitoring

  • Monitoring parameters for common drugs
Medicines that require extra care

  • Anticoagulants – VKA and DOACs
  • Methotrexate
Antibiotic prescribing

  • Problems with antibiotic resistance
  • Conditions which antibiotics shouldn’t routinely be used for
  • Local formularies
Hospital discharges and outpatient letters

  • TTOs
  • Identifying changes
  • Hospital only (Red drugs)
Cost effectiveness and reducing medicines waste

  • How big is the problem of medicines waste?
  • The process of ordering repeat prescriptions
  • Identifying waste in the system and how to reduce medicines waste
  • ‘When required’ items
  • Food supplements and appropriate quantities
  • Automatics
  • Generic versus branded
  • Blacklisted medicines
  • RAG list
  • Abuse – prescription fraud, medicines liable to abuse
Community Pharmacy (you may wish to invite local pharmacists in to talk about the services that they offer)

  • Conditions that can be managed in community pharmacy
  • OTC medicines
  • Warning symptoms
  • Enhanced services
  • Emergency supply
  • Pre-payment certificates
Consultation skills & Conflict resolution skills
Local formularies

  • Repeat Prescribing Policies
  • Prescribing Audits
Practical Exercises

  • Errors
  • Hospital discharge
  • Patient compliance
  • Synchronisation
  • Restricted medicines
Action planning
 Summary and Q&A
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Contact the PMA now

If you would like more information about any of our workshops, the timings or adapting our programmes to your local needs / requirements, please call 0330 111 6459 or email

Please note that all workshops are delivered online as web workshop sessions – however, if you require face to face workshops, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this.

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