Patient Specific Directions (PSDs) and Patient Group Directions (PGDs)

The advice on the use of Patient Group Directions (PGDs) and Patient Specific Directions (PSDs) in general practice has been updated, January 2016. This guidance is for England only. Download the full guidance here


The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 do not permit non-qualified prescribers to administer or supply prescription only medicines (POMs) unless one of three types of instruction is in place:

  1. a signed prescription
  2. a Patient Specific Direction (PSD)
  3. a Patient Group Direction (PGD)

There are some specific exemptions from medicines legislation which may apply in limited circumstances e.g. administration of certain parenteral medicines such as adrenaline that can be administered in an emergency without the directions of a prescriber.

If non-prescribing health care professionals administer a medicine on the instruction of a GP, the GP must be able to show that the health care professional has authority for that administration via one of the above methods.

Use this quick checklist

Make sure you also review these helpful resources:

NICE Medicines Practice Guideline 2 (MPG2)
Exemption from restrictions on sale and supply of prescription only medicines - The Human Medicines Regulations 2012
To PGD or not to PGD - A guide to choosing the best option for individual situations
List of certain registered health professionals authorised in legislation to use PGDs

The full guidance from GPC contains helpful resources for your reference, including:

Download the full guidance here