Taking Medicines Abroad

An NHS patient travelling abroad may ask their surgery for a FP10 repeat prescription to cover their time abroad. This is at the discretion of the surgery but should be for no longer than 3 months. This should give the patient enough medication to last until they can make arrangements for supply in the country they are visiting. The Department of Health recommends that the period for which prescriptions should be issued is best decided by the patient’s GP, taking into account his detailed knowledge of the patient’s medical history and current condition. When a doctor prescribes a drug he is clinically and legally responsible for any results of that decision to prescribe. In view of this it would not be considered good clinical practice to prescribe large amounts of medicines to a patient going abroad for an extended period of time, whose progress the GP is not able to monitor.
GMS and PMS regulations state that the PCT shall remove a patient from the Contractor’s list where a patient intends to be away from the UK for a period of at least 3 months, or has been absent from the UK for 3 or more months. It follows that prescriptions should not be issued for longer than 3 months, at which time the practice is deemed no longer responsible for providing patient care. This does not preclude re-registering patients on their return, or treating them as Temporary residents for emergency treatment if they visit the UK.