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How to avoid unidentified prescribing

Unidentified prescribing occurs when the costs from a prescription cannot be matched to a prescriber at that practice or organisation. If we cannot match a prescriber to a practice, we will attribute prescribing costs to the lead prescriber at that practice.

This impacts prescribing budgets and any clinical governance arrangements that rely on information we provide.

To help avoid this make sure you register prescribers at your GP practice and use the correct codes for prescribing purposes.

To register prescribers at your GP practice, notify your authorised signatory which will be either:

  • Primary Care Support England (PCSE)
  • your integrated care board (ICB) or an agency acting on their behalf  

They will send us a form and we will add the new registered prescriber to our database.

Your authorised signatory must also let us know of any changes to prescriber details such as prescriber removals and additions.

The forms they complete to do this are available in the organisation and prescriber changes section of our website.

GP codes used for prescribing purposes

Doctors Index Number (DIN) code

This is a GP’s main prescribing code. It can only be used at one GP practice or cost centre at a time. It is 6 characters long and sometimes known as the prescriber code or PPA ID.

Spurious code

This code is used when a GP is prescribing at additional sites, or for hospital doctors. It is 6 characters long and always starts with a ‘6’. A different spurious code is required for each additional site.

Other codes

General Medical Practice Prescription Pricing Division (GMP PPD) code

This code is used in some GP practice systems. It is 8 characters long and made up of the GP’s DIN code with a ‘G’ at the start and a ‘check digit’ added to the end.

Pooled List code 

This code is used to hold the patient list against one central code. It is 6 characters long and always starts with a ‘7’. It should have the same name as the GP practice. It cannot be named after a specific doctor and must never be used for prescribing.

General Medical Council (GMC) and other professional registration codes

The GMC code is a GP's professional registration number and should not be used for prescribing.

Non-medical prescribers such as nurses, pharmacists, and paramedics use a professional registration code issued by their regulatory body for prescribing. They can be linked to more than one GP practice or cost centre. For all non-medical prescribers except pharmacists, the code should be 8 characters long for prescribing purposes. If your professional registration code is only 7 characters long, add a ‘0’ after the first 2 characters.