Patient Group Directions (PGDs) provide a legal framework that allows some registered health professionals to supply and/or administer specified medicines to a pre-defined group of patients, without them having to see a prescriber (such as a doctor or nurse prescriber).


Supplying and/or administering medicines under PGDs should be reserved for situations in which this offers an advantage for patient care, without compromising patient safety.


PGDs should be put together by a multi-disciplinary group including a doctor, a pharmacist, and a representative of any professional group expected to supply the medicines under the PGD. It’s good practice to involve local drug and therapeutics committees, area prescribing committees, and similar advisory bodies.


The expiry date for a PGD needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis in the interest of patient safety. The expiry date should not be more than 3 years from the date the PGD was authorised.

Who can supply drugs using a pgd?

You can do this if you are a qualified healthcare professional. These are:

  • chiropodists and podiatrists
  • dental hygienists
  • dental therapists
  • dieticians
  • midwives
  • nurses
  • occupational therapists
  • optometrists
  • orthoptists
  • orthotists and prosthetists
  • paramedics
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • radiographers
  • speech and language therapists

What must be included in a pgd?

According to the legal requirements, a PGD must include:

  • the name of the business who owns the direction
  • the start and end date of the PGD
  • a description of the medicine(s)
  • the class of the health professional who can supply or administer the medicine
  • a signature of a doctor or dentist (as appropriate) and a pharmacist
  • authorisation by an appropriate organisation: Authorising PGDS
  • the clinical condition or situation to which the direction applies (eg the specified condition/conditions that can be treated)
  • a description of patients excluded from treatment under the direction
  • a description of when you should get more advice from a doctor (or dentist, as appropriate) and arrangements for referral
  • details of appropriate dosage, maximum total dosage, quantity, pharmaceutical form and strength, route and frequency of administration, and minimum or maximum period to administer the medicine
  • relevant warnings, including potential adverse reactions
  • details of any necessary follow-up actions
  • a statement of the records to be kept for audit purposes

See the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 for the legal requirements for PGDs.