Next step taken for paramedics to prescribe

Staff pic   para epaulettes

In 2010, a consultation began looking into including paramedics as one the professional groups authorised to prescribe medicines independently.

On the back of this, the Allied Health Professions (AHP) Medicines project has been started to extend the prescribing, supply and administration of medicines to allied health professionals, with the aim of improving access to medicines and making the best use of clinical skills.

Being run as a joint initiative by NHS England and the Department of Health, the proposals are focusing on:

  • independent prescribing by paramedics
  • independent prescribing by therapeutic and diagnostic radiographers
  • supplementary prescribing by dietitians
  • the use of exemptions from Medicines Act Regulations by orthoptists

A case of need has been developed for each of these points based on improving quality of care for patients in relation to safety, clinical outcomes and experience, whilst also improving efficiency of service delivery and value for money.

Ministerial approval has now been received, which means work can now begin to take all four proposals forward to public consultation. Following public consultation, the findings will be considered by the Commission on Human Medicines, which will make recommendations to ministers regarding any potential changes to medicines legislation.

The College of Paramedics is working closely on the project with the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and Health Education England (HEE); once final approval has been given, the legal framework will allow the HCPC to amend its regulations and approve programmes so paramedics can gain the appropriate qualification.

This will be an excellent opportunity for professional progression, and will maximise the impact ambulances services can have within their communities. The Trust will be monitoring the developments carefully.

Published 9th December 2014 

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