Non-medical prescribing by Allied Health Professionals

Following the announcement by George Freeman MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences, Department of Health) on 26 February 2016, NHS England welcomed the new legislation that will enable:

  • Independent prescribing by therapeutic radiographers
  • Supplementary prescribing by dietitians
  • The use of exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 by orthoptists

These changes came about following UK-wide public consultations led by NHS England between February and May 2015. Summary reports of the responses to the four public consultations have been published, alongside a series of links to supporting documents on the following pages:

The findings of the public consultations were presented to the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) for their consideration and recommendations were made to Ministers at the Department of Health.

Although the Commission supported the proposals for therapeutic radiographers, dietitians and orthoptists they did not support the proposals for independent prescribing by diagnostic radiographers and paramedics at this time. An overview of the recommendations made by the Commission for dietitians and orthoptists is available, along with theĀ recommendations made regarding the proposals for radiographers and paramedics.

NHS England will continue to work closely with the Department of Health (DH), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the relevant professional bodies to further consider the proposals for:

  • Independent prescribing by paramedics
  • Independent prescribing by diagnostic radiographers

What happens next?

Following amendments to the UK-wide legislation and NHS Regulations in England eligible practitioners will be able to undertake training programmes as they are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) over the next 18 months.

In relation to prescribing responsibilities the NHS regulations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for consideration by the relevant Devolved Administrations.