The NHS is introducing new ways of making care more effective and accessible.
New legislation announced on 26 February 2016 will extend prescribing responsibilities to therapeutic radiographers and dietitians as well as enabling orthoptists to supply and administer some medicines without the need for a prescription.
By enabling more health professionals to become involved in the use of medicines, new ways of delivering care will be facilitated which will create a more positive experience for patients.
Therapeutic radiographers, dietitians and orthoptists will undertake additional training to enable them to join doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, dentists and others, who are already involved in contributing to more timely and appropriate access to medicines.
This will mean:
- Patients have better access to medicines when they are needed, reducing unnecessary delays and potentially worsening symptoms.
- Barriers to accessing medicines will be reduced, improving the efficiency and patient experience of care delivery.
- The choice of medicines will be better tailored to the individual, with management plans developed in collaboration with patients and carers, to address their needs.
- More health professionals with additional and appropriate skills are directly involved in the use of medicines, reducing the risk of avoidable errors.
- Patients will have more time for informed discussion about their medicines, increasing their understanding and involvement, maximising the benefits of their medicines.
As described by NHS England’s Helen Marriott, the improved access to medicines will not happen overnight.
Over the next 18 months therapeutic radiographers, dietitians and orthoptists will be involved in additional training and supervision to ensure that the treatment of choice is as safe and appropriate as possible.
Patients and the public have the opportunity to find out more from their local NHS commissioners and service providers through local conversations about the implications of local initiatives to improve access to medicines.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is hosting a consultation, to ensure professionals meet the needs and requirements of present day prescribing.
The RPS consultation closes on 15 April 2016. This is your opportunity to ensure that your views are listened to and taken into account.
There are many different ways for the public to get involved, either through conversations with your local NHS or via consultations such as this one.
Graham Prestwich is Lay Member NHS England Allied Health Professions (AHP) Medicines Project Board.