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Proposals allowing certain health professions to prescribe or supply and administer medicines for patients have been published today (Thursday) by NHS England.
The proposals would apply across the United Kingdom, and would enable four groups of registered allied health professions (AHPs) – radiographers, paramedics, dietitians and orthoptists – to prescribe or supply and administer medicines, giving patients responsive access to treatment.
For many patients an AHP is their lead clinician, yet they often do not have access to the appropriate prescribing or supply and administration of medicines mechanisms. This means the patient may have to make an additional appointment with their GP or doctor to get the medicines they need.
The proposals would enable new ways of working to make better use of AHPs’ skills, providing a more efficient and convenient service for patients while reducing demand on other services.
NHS England is consulting on these proposals, which cover:
- Independent prescribing by radiographers
- Independent prescribing by paramedics
- Supplementary prescribing by dietitians
- Use of exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) by orthoptists
Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions officer at NHS England said today: “Our proposals will allow patients to get the medicines they need without delay, instead of having to make separate appointments to see their doctor or GP.
“Breaking down barriers in how care is provided between different parts of the NHS is key to the vision set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
“Extension of prescribing and supply mechanisms for these four professions creates a more flexible workforce, able to innovate to provide services that are more responsive to the needs of patients, and reduce demand in other parts of the healthcare system.”
The four separate consultations have been launched today by NHS England in partnership with the devolved administrations, the Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
The consultations have been posted on NHS England’s consultation hub website.
The consultations on proposals to introduce independent prescribing for paramedics and radiographers will run for 12 weeks from 26 February. The consultations on proposals for dietitians and orthoptists will run for eight weeks from 26 February.