BMA calls for new support for prescription drug dependency

The government should set up a national helpline for prescribed drug dependence, the BMA has said.

The doctors’ organisation has set out its recommendations on management and prevention of prescription drugs dependence based on a call for evidence from stakeholders.

The UK government, it said, should set up a national, 24 hours helpline to support patients, similar to the FRANK drugs advice service.

It also called for each UK government, and the health departments and local authorities to establish specialist support services, and for clear guidance on tapering and withdrawal management with input form professional groups and patients.

GP prescribing

GPC clinical and prescribing policy lead Dr Andrew Green said: ‘We believe that establishing a national helpline, similar to the FRANK service, should be a top priority to provide better service to individuals with prescribed drug dependence. This would provide vital, timely support and could be introduced relatively quickly.

‘Doctors would also welcome more robust guidance on managing prescription medicine dependence and withdrawal.

He added: ‘There is also the need for specialist services to be consistently available across the country, as patients are often referred to general drug and alcohol services, which do not have adequate resources, and whose skills are different to those needed to manage prescription drug dependence. This would ensure patients, carers and families have access to trusted and expert advice and support.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

BMA House

BMA prepares to ballot junior doctors on industrial action

Junior doctors will be balloted over industrial action if the government does not...

Typing on a laptop

NHS 111 systems could be offline until next week following cyber attack

NHS 111 systems could be offline until next week following the cyber attack on a...

The NHS App in the Apple App store on a smart phone

NHS England piloting online patient registration for GP practices

A new system that will allow patients to register with a GP surgery online is being...

satisfaction scale

Which parts of England have the highest and lowest GP patient satisfaction?

Patient satisfaction with GP services varies widely between PCN and ICS areas across...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Improving menopause care

During August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the...

Girl receiving vaccine

GPs raise 'substantial concerns' over workload impact of polio boosters

London GP leaders have raised 'substantial concerns' that practices do not have the...