Consultations open on prescribing rights for non-medical healthcare professionals
A scoping project was undertaken in 2015 by NHS England which looked at the need for some regulated health professions to supply, administer and prescribe medicines to their patients. The report of the project made a number of recommendations, and the Chief Professions Officers’ Medicines Mechanisms (CPOMM) programme of work started in April 2017 to take forward the recommendations.
On behalf of the four nations, NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently leading public consultations on proposals which include changes to medicines responsibilities for eight regulated health professions as follows:
- enabling dental hygienists and dental therapists to supply and administer certain medicines under exemptions within medicines legislation;
- enabling biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and operating department practitioners to supply and administer medicines using patient group directions;
- amending the current lists of controlled drugs that podiatrist and physiotherapist independent prescribers are legally able to prescribe; and
- amending the list of medicines that paramedics can administer in emergency situations using exemptions.
Changes to UK-wide medicines legislation are required to enable all the above proposals. The Human Medicines Regulations apply UK-wide so changes to them will apply across the four countries; for those proposals which involve controlled drugs, changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations are also required. The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 apply only to England, Wales and Scotland; the Misuse of Drugs (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2002 will need to be amended separately. Following any amendments, (with the approval of the Minister for Health and Social Services) we will be required to amend welsh subordinate legislation which references independent prescribers to include the above professions to enable them to have their NHS prescriptions dispensed in Wales.
NHS England and NHS Improvement, in partnership with the devolved administrations, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has gone live with the consultations for the eight professions. We would like to hear your thoughts on the proposals, and you can share those by completing the online questionnaires which are available via the NHS England’s consultation hub (www.engage.england.nhs.uk). The consultation for each proposal will run for eight weeks and close on 10th December 2020. The consultation documents are published on the NHS England website and can be found at https://www.england.nhs.uk/medicines-2/chief-professions-officers-medicines-mechanisms-programme/. Welsh versions of the summary documents will be available on request.
Engagement events will be held online during the consultation period in November. These will provide an opportunity for those attending to find out more about the proposals and the consultation process. Details of these events and how to book are found at are as follows https://www.england.nhs.uk/medicines-2/chief-professions-officers-medicines-mechanisms-programme/