Problems can occur when doses are changed by means of a verbal order but no written document is sent. Usually, this happens when a GP telephones a dose change. But a new prescription is not always necessary.


A careful record should be made of:

  • Who took the telephone call.
  • The time of the call.
  • The name of the person who called.
  • The change(s) made.

It is good practice to:

  • Read back the information that has been written down to reduce the chance of misunderstanding.       
  • Spell out the name(s) of the medicine(s).        
  • Ask the GP to repeat the message to another member of staff, if possible.                
  • Request written confirmation as soon as possible by fax, letter or by issue of a new prescription.