Non-medical prescribing

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Non-medical prescribing

This programme is aimed at all non-medical prescribers working in any area of practice, and is applicable to independent and supplementary prescribers. It may also help you if you are considering undertaking a prescribing course or are currently undergoing training.

Learning Objectives

Book 1 – Prescribing legally and ethically

  • Understand the policy background for non-medical prescribing and how it may be affected by future legislation.
  • Describe the stages of the policy process and reflect on how these affect the implementation of non-medical prescribing in your local setting.
  • Understand the concept of consent, when consent is required and how to identify when people are not able to give consent, and what to do in those situations.
  • Understand the various ethical frameworks and how they affect decision-making in your prescribing practice.
  • Reflect on the consequences of not prescribing to certain groups of people from an ethical perspective.
  • Understand what constitutes clinical negligence and the legal implications for non-medical prescribing practice.
  • Apply important principles of case law to your prescribing practice.
  • Apply clinical governance principles and understand why record-keeping, the evidence base and risk assessment reduce your risk of being found clinically negligent.

Book 2 – Influences on you as a prescriber

  • Understand the structure and principles of the NHS, how this applies to your prescribing practice and how your work contributes to the health of the local population
  • Identify the mechanisms used by local health economies to influence prescribing
  • Understand the place of shared care agreements and how they may impact on your prescribing practice
  • Reflect on how government policies and directions can help you make prescribing decisions
  • Identify, critically evaluate and apply sources of evidence to your prescribing practice
  • Use local guidelines, formularies, protocols and policies to influence and change your practice
  • Understand how community engagement can influence prescribing decisions and how patients /carers and their support groups can influence national policy and prescribing
  • Be more aware of the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and how to deal with it when prescribing
  • Develop your own code of practice for working with the industry, using the ABPI code of conduct

 Book 3 – Prescribing safely

  • Apply a clinical governance framework to your personal practice.
  • Identify how your scope of practice is related to competence, negligence and your employer’s liability arrangements.
  • Understand the terms clinical engagement and clinical effectiveness.
  • Evaluate your prescribing practice and be able to use relevant decision-support tools.
  • Understand about critical thinking and how to improve and apply your own critical thinking skills.
  • Understand the importance of clinical supervision and how to record it.
  • Describe the principles of audit and systems monitoring.
  • Describe the principles of risk management and risk assessment.
  • Describe the principles of medication error reporting and the tools and methods that are used.
  • Understand complaints procedures.
  • Describe the legal and practical issues related to writing prescriptions and the appropriate safeguards for their secure handling.
  • Be aware of the professional requirements and responsibilities with respect to record-keeping and non-medical prescribing.
  • Understand the ethical concept of confidentiality and the laws governing the handling and use of patient specific data.
  • Identify the resources available for detecting and preventing fraud, and how to report it.
  • Understand a health professional’s rights and the protection that they are entitled to if they report faults or wrong doing.


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