Independent prescribing for physios in the UK inches closer

The CSP’s push towards independent prescribing rights for physiotherapists has moved a step further, with the Department of Health now working towards a possible public consultation on the issue. The move comes after the Department of Health (DH) published results from its engagement exercise, launched in October 2010, which collated informal views on the benefits to patients of physios being given independent prescribing rights. After reviewing the results, government ministers said the DH can now prepare for a possible public consultation on independent prescribing.

CSP professional adviser Pip White, who leads the CSP’s work with the DH on independent prescribing, described the latest development as ‘another positive step forward in the development of the profession’. ‘However, it is a further big step to put a public consultation together for further ministerial considerations,’ she added.

The DH first published its recommendations on developing allied health professional prescribing in its 2009 report ‘Allied health professions prescribing and medicines supply mechanisms scoping project’. The CSP says spreading responsibility for prescribing across a wider range of practitioners can offer patients quicker and more direct access to medication and treatment, as well as boosting efficiency and service improvement. ‘It would benefit patients, especially those in primary and community care settings, those using self-referral or other pathways where a doctor may not be part of the care team, and possibly also in settings where a doctor may not be immediately available, such as sport,’ Ms White said.