Prescribing training for paramedics

This page has information for advanced paramedics requiring access to independent prescribing programmes.

Currently, non-medical prescribing training is multi-professional and is provided as an integrated programme for independent and supplementary prescribers.

The nature of education to prepare registered healthcare professionals to become prescribers includes training and competencies in both supplementary and independent prescribing within a single curriculum.

Legislation provides the framework which defines the mechanism(s) available to each profession and thus the assessment of course participants. Consequently, paramedics who successfully complete a prescribing programme will be qualified as both a supplementary and independent prescriber and will need to be annotated as such on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register before they are able to prescribe in practice.

It is not possible to give a definitive time frame as to when the first paramedics will qualify as prescribers as this is dependent upon a number of factors; we don’t expect to see paramedics prescribing in practice until early 2019.

Not all paramedics are expected to train to become independent prescribers. The safety of patients is paramount and the strict eligibility criteria for acceptance on prescribing education programmes are reflective of this.

In line with other professions able to train as non-medical independent prescribers , all paramedic entrants would need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be registered with the HCPC as a paramedic.
  • Be professionally practising in an environment where there is an identified need for the individual to regularly prescribe independently.
  • Be able to demonstrate support from their employer/sponsor, including confirmation that the entrant will have appropriate supervised practice in the clinical area in which they are expected to prescribe.
  • Be able to demonstrate medicines and clinical governance arrangements are in place to support safe and effective independent prescribing.
  • Have an approved medical practitioner to supervise and assess their clinical training as a prescriber.
  • Have normally at least three years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which they will be prescribing.
  • Be working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level.
  • Be able to demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own Continuing Professional Development (CPD), including development of networks for support, reflection and learning.
  • Provide evidence of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check within the last three years.

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