Guidance

NHS England Guidance 201812

Recommendation – Advise CCGs that vitamins and minerals should not be routinely prescribed in primary care except in the following circumstances:

  • Medically diagnosed deficiency, including for those patients who may have a lifelong or chronic condition or have undergone surgery that results in malabsorption. 
  • Calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis. 
  • Malnutrition including alcoholism

Few vitamin and mineral products are licensed medicines. To achieve status as an approved prescribed medicine, such as Forceval, a product must have robust clinical safety and efficacy data.

Northern Ireland HSC (Last updated 201713)

The Northern Ireland Department of Health and Health and Social Care Board allow prescribing of some vitamins, including Forceval®, to prevent or treat deficiency.

  • Prescribing should be reviewed to ensure that these products are used only in the approved circumstances.
  • Vitamins cannot be used as dietary supplements.

NICE Guideline (last updated 201711)

  • Nutrition support should be considered in people at risk of malnutrition who, as defined by any of the following:
    • have eaten little or nothing for more than 5 days and/or are likely to eat little or nothing for the next 5 days or longer
    • have a poor absorptive capacity, and/or have high nutrient losses and/or have increased nutritional needs from causes such as catabolism.
  • If there is concern about the adequacy of micronutrient intake, a complete oral multivitamin and mineral supplement providing the reference nutrient intake for all vitamins and trace elements should be considered by healthcare professionals with the relevant skills and training in nutrition support who are able to determine the nutritional adequacy of a patient’s dietary intake.