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Patient group directions for antibiotic supply in Walk-in Centres: how legal are they?

Deave, Toity; Weiss, Marjorie; Salisbury, Chris


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Toity Deave
Associate Professor in Child & Family Health

Marjorie Weiss

Chris Salisbury


Until recently antibiotics were only available on prescription. Nurses in NHS Walk-in Centres (WiCs) now supply and administer antibiotics in accordance with patient group directions (PGDs). The aim of this study was to investigate the process of antibiotic supply from WiCs. Antibiotic PGDs from ten WiCs were selected and medical notes of 50 patients who received an antibiotic at these WiCs were examined to determine compliance with PGD specifications. No consistency of approach in format and content of PGDs was found. PGDs from six WiCs complied with 15/20 or fewer PGD requirements. In the examination of patients' records, 65% of all relevant PGD requirements were explicitly recorded. The breadth and variability of PGDs demonstrates local needs and priorities; however, low compliance levels with PGD requirements provide cause for concern. This article discusses the legality of PGDs, equity in both service provision and advice offered, compliance of medical notes with PGD requirements, implications for patients and WiC nurses, and training implications. Incomplete documentation makes it impossible to verify the quality of care provided across and within WiCs. It also suggests that uncertainty remains around the supply of medicines under PGDs.


Deave, T., Weiss, M., & Salisbury, C. (2003). Patient group directions for antibiotic supply in Walk-in Centres: how legal are they?. British Journal of Community Nursing, 8(5), 209-213.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2003
Journal British journal of community nursing
Print ISSN 1462-4753
Publisher MA Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 209-213
Keywords patient group directions, antibiotics, walk-in centres
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