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Information Prescriptions Q&A

"Information Prescriptions put patients in the driving seat and that is the key to driving successful behaviour change. It is an invaluable tool that GPs and healthcare teams can easily incorporate during routine care.This is a revolutionary step in diabetes care.”

Dr Stephen Lawrence

This page has been written to answer common questions about the Information Prescriptions. If you have other questions, please email us at

What is an Information Prescription?

Information Prescriptions are a short (single side of A4), easy to read and clinically accurate resource that helps healthcare professionals and people with diabetes to make decisions together about the treatment and self-management of their health targets.

They include actions to reduce the risk of complications, and a section for setting individualised behavioural change goals, needed to meet these health targets.

Have a look at at sample of the Information Prescriptions (PDF, 84 KB) and how they increase patient engagement and prompt your patients to take action.

What do Information Prescriptions cover?

The Information Prescriptions are targeted at people with diabetes who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or high HbA1c.

We have now developed four new Information Prescriptions that provide information on:

Our "At Risk" Information Prescriptions are designed to be used for patients who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, they provide simple and clear information to help your patients live healthier lives. These cover eating well (PDF, 64KB) and being active (PDF, 38KB). These Information Prescriptions are not embedded into primary care IT systems but can be printed off and used with patients.

"Information Prescriptions are a really positive development that will enable primary care to help people with diabetes better understand and take ownership of their diabetes. We know that primary care is under a lot of time pressure, but the design of these allows best practice around care planning and goal setting to be done during routine care."


Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes

Why use the Information Prescriptions?

There are six reasons to use the Information Prescriptions; they:

Target those at highest risk

Clinicians receive a pop-up alert upon opening a patients medical record if that patients would benefit from information on their diabetes management for example, if a patient has diabetes and falls outside the NICE recommended targets for blood pressure it will alert the clinician to use an Information Prescription.

Allow swift interventions

There’s no searching for documents or transcribing of patient information. The pop-up links to the appropriate information prescription with the patient’s information auto-completed.

Support care planning

Simple check boxes on the Information Prescriptions give advice whilst the individualised ‘action plan’ box draws on the best evidence around effective behaviour change.

Enable continuity of care

A copy of the completed Information Prescription is saved in the patient’s notes so that past goals can be recalled quickly in future appointments. The Information Prescriptions will neither increase work load nor result in any entry duplication.

Increase patient understanding of key concepts

The Information Prescriptions are written in plain English and clearly explains complex diabetes information.

Prompt patient action

Over 27,000 people have followed the unique URL on the Information Prescriptions to find out more information about managing their diabetes, suggesting that a very high proportion of recipients were motivated to take further action.

Change clinical behaviour

Case studies show the IPs are prompting clinicians to intervene more proactively and identify patients who have slipped through the net for many years. Data from clinical system EMIS Web shows that use of the Information Prescriptions is rising steadily and they have now been used in over 82,000 clinical consultations.

Information Prescription evaluation

Recently, Diabetes UK and researchers from Newcastle University worked together to evaluate the usefulness of the Information Prescriptions and any perceived barriers to their use in routine primary care. See what healthcare professionals say about using Information Prescriptions (PDF, 345KB)


Case studiesFind out how healthcare professionals are using the Information Prescriptions to change their clinical practice, increase patient engagement and prompt their patients to take action.Find out how healthcare professionals are using the Information Prescriptions to change their clinical practice, increase patient engagement and prompt their patients to take action.

Find out more



"The information prescriptions help me to plan better if there is a problem with my test readings.”

Patient with diabetes

How do I get Information Prescriptions on my system?

By working with your IT provider we can make it as easy and streamlined as possible for you to use the Information Prescriptions. For instructions and more information on installing the Information Prescriptions in your practice, clinic or hospital please use the guide that suits your IT system below:

  • Vision: The Information Prescription (Diabetes UK) pathway has been automatically installed on all Vision systems with SIS 10380 or above. Read the Vision web instruction guide for further information on how to use them within your system.
  • EMIS Web: This EMIS instruction guide (Word, 244KB) shows you how to activate the information prescription functionality on your system.
  • SystmOne practices: TPP is currently working to enhance automatic triggering of Information Prescriptions in SystmOne to allow healthcare professionals to enable this functionality.

Information Prescription training

Should you need help using the information prescriptions, Diabetes UK are now providing training to practices. To find out more please email Please include in your email, your geographical locality and your IT operating system in your email.

The Information Prescriptions received the Diabetes Collaboration Initiative of the year award at the Quality in Care 2016.

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