Changes in legislation means advanced paramedics are now able to prescribe, bringing huge benefits to patients and the NHS across the UK.
These highly skilled paramedics, after undertaking additional training, will be able to prescribe medicines to patients. This is likely to happen in practice in early 2019.
What does the legislation change mean?
Over recent years, changes to the law have permitted a number of professions, such as nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, radiographers and dieticians to play an increasing role in prescribing medicines for their patients.
Under current medicines legislation, registered paramedics already safely supply and administer a range of medicines for their patients.
However, for those advanced paramedics mainly working within a GP practice, minor injuries unit, urgent care centre or in A&E this will enable a better use of their skills and improve patient experience by providing timely access to medicine and care closer to home.
Paramedics are highly skilled practitioners and are playing an increased role in the wider NHS team.
Increasing access to prescribing for paramedics has huge potential; potential to improve patient safety by reducing delays in care and creating clearer lines of responsibilities for the prescribing of medicines.
For patients this means more timely access to medicines, care closer to home avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital or additional appointments with other health professionals such as a GP to access the medicines they need – an overall better experience for patients.
For the NHS, maximising advanced paramedics’ skills reduces demand for other services as well as reducing costs.
Additional information for advanced paramedics requiring the further training to become a prescriber can be found on our prescribing training page.
Find out more
The following documents have been published about NHS England’s public consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics:
- Summary of the responses to the public consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics across the United Kingdom – Provides a summary of the responses received to the consultation which was held between February and May 2015.
- Consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics across the United Kingdom – The main consultation document which sets out the proposals.