Practitioners encouraged to consider nurse prescribing

Before
taking the route to nurse prescribing, an OH practitioner should first ask what
tangible benefits they feel it will bring to their practice, advised Jan Maw,
lecturer and OH consultant.

The
level of time, training and funding required will vary according to the type of
nurse prescribing obtained, but in all cases, the first question to ask is: how
it will impact on your practice?

Maw
provided a brief history of nurse prescribing, from its earlier recommendation
in the Cumberlege Report in 1986, which culminated in the publication of the
Department of Health’s  Extending
Independent Nurse Prescribing within the NHS in England: a guide for
implementation, in March 2002.

In
April of that year, the then health secretary Alan Milburn announced the
extension in the number and types of medicines nurses were allowed to
prescribe, opening the door for more in OH to embrace nurse prescribing.

The
clinical and educational preparation required to obtain a nurse prescribing
qualification were outlined, which, said Maw, means the course of study is as
in-depth as it should be.

She
reminded delegates that the administration of vaccines and the like does not
count as prescribing, and warned that OH practitioners must always have written
instructions allowing them to administer such medicines.

“If
you don’t have signed written instructions, and something goes wrong, how will
your insurance stand up?” she warned.

And,
she added, not ensuring written instructions are signed also constitutes a
breach of the professional code of conduct.

Maw
concluded by encouraging practitioners to consider the benefits of attaining a
nurse prescribing qualification, but added that there is a heavy responsibility
that goes alongside it.

 www.groupprotocols.org.uk

www.doh.gov.uk/nurseprescribing

Comments are closed.