World first: Podiatrists & Physiotherapists ‘set to gain prescribing powers’

In 2012, News on July 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

Today, Ministers have announced their approval to lay amendments to medicines legislation before parliament that will allow independent prescribing responsibilities to be extended to appropriately qualified physiotherapists and podiatrists. According to the DH press release (available on-line), this is a novel breakthrough: “Once suitably trained, physiotherapists and podiatrists in the UK would be the first in the world to be able to independently prescribe medicines where clinically appropriate.”

HEAL responded to both public consultations in 2011, and we are delighted to see we have been cited in both summary reports of the responses (physio & podiatrist). First,  in the Podiatrists Report [page 15], in the summary of responses to Q 1 on the ‘preferred option[s] for introducing independent prescribing (IP) by podiatrists’:  Option 1  was ‘independent prescribing for any condition from a full formulary’]

“Option 1 provides good opportunities to ensure and enhance responsiveness to patient need, widen patient choice, and enhance accessibility to medicines in terms of location as well as provider. It will also further support role flexibility and workforce redesign, ensuring better use of GP time and more collaborative inter-professional working. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that independent prescribing by nurses and pharmacists is operating safely and patients are satisfied (Latter et al, 2010; http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/184777/).”  Health, Ethics and Law network, University of Southampton 

Second, in the Physiotherapists Report [p36] in the section on ‘comments relating to practice guidance’:

“The Health Ethics and Law network acknowledges that the professional guidance documents for both podiatry and physiotherapy offer clear guidance to both NHS and private practice practitioners, and offers a relevant governance structure for prescribing. It is comparable in the structure and content to other NMP professional and regulatory body guidance documents (such as that provided by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the College of Optometrists) for professions currently with Independent Prescriber members/registrants.”
Health, Ethics and Law network, University of Southampton

According to the press release “physiotherapists and podiatrists who have successfully completed Health Professions Council (HPC) approved education programmes and are annotated on theHPCregister could be prescribing independently in 2014.”

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