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Katy has requested a telephone consultation with Dr Newell to ask for a further prescription of tranquilisers before she goes on holiday.

(The story so far...)

Katy consulted Dr Newell seven months ago about panic attacks brought on by drug taking. She was prescribed a short course of tranquillisers and has been seeing a counsellor to help manage her risky behaviour.



Hi Dr Newell! I just wondered if I could have some more of those pills you gave me back in February. I'm off on holiday and though I haven't had a panic attack for a while now - I'd just feel better if I had some with me, you know?

Dr Newell

Dr Newell

Well Katy, this is quite powerful medication we're talking about, and it's highly addictive. I'd much rather you came into the surgery and we had a proper talk about how you're doing.



Oh I'd love to but I really don't have time! My flight's the day after tomorrow and I've still got so much to organise.

What should the doctor do...? (Select A,B or C)


Write a prescription for a small number of tranquilisers for Katy to pick up?


Insist that Katy come in to see her so she can carry out a proper assessment?


Reassure Katy that she'll probably be fine on holiday as long as she stays away from illegal drugs and watches her drinking - and tell her to come in when she gets back if she still feels she needs the medication?

Dr Newell

See what the doctor did

Dr Newell decides not to prescribe further medication for Katy without a face-to-face assessment, including finding out how the counselling sessions are going. She is reassured that Katy is sounding much more positive and judges that she can wait until after her holiday to discuss her treatment.


You must provide a good standard of practice and care. If you assess, diagnose or treat patients you must:
a. Adequately assess the patient's conditions, taking account of their history (including the symptoms and psychological, spiritual, social and cultural factors) and their views and values. Where necessary, examine the patient.
(Good Medical Practice paragraph 15)

In providing clinical care you must:
b. prescribe drugs or treatment, including repeat prescriptions, only when you have adequate knowledge of the patient's health, and are satisfied that the drugs or treatment serve the patient's needs12 20
(Good Medical Practice paragraph 16)