Proposals to allow orthoptists to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) across the United Kingdom

Closed 1 May 2015

Opened 26 Feb 2015

Overview

In recent years, the NHS has allowed a wider range of allied health professions (AHPs) to supply or administer medicines to patients. 

This is because for many patients an AHP is their lead clinician, yet they often do not have access to the appropriate supply and administration of medicines mechanisms. 

Introducing these changes makes it easier for patients to get access to the medicines that they need in a timely manner so they gain maximum benefit.

The NHS is now consulting on proposals to enable orthoptists who have undergone the appropriate training, to be able to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) across the United Kingdom.

The proposed changes will enable the development of new roles and new ways of working which will better utilise the skills of orthoptists and therefore support the delivery of safe, effective services that are focused on the patient experience whilst also being cost effective.

NHS England is currently consulting on proposals to allow four allied health professions to be able to prescribe or supply and administer medicines, as appropriate to their patients. These are:


The proposals for radiographers, paramedics, dietitians and orthoptists would require changes to be made to medicines legislation.

All four separate consultations can be found on this consultation hub website.

The following documents relate to the proposals to allow orthoptists to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) across the United Kingdom, and which should be read before completing the on line consultation response form:

Consultation on proposals to allow orthoptists to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) across the United Kingdom – the main consultation document which sets out the proposals.

Patient and public summary of the main consultation document.

The Consultation Stage Impact Assessment - contains evidence of the actual (where available) and estimated costs and benefits of the introduction of allowing orthoptists to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012).  The consultation is an opportunity to gather additional evidence to further inform the costs, benefits and risks.

Practice guidance for orthoptists supplying and administering medicines under exemptions – developed by the British and Irish Orthoptic Society.  It provides information which should underpin the decision-making and actions of orthoptists who are annotated on the  Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register as qualified to use exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) to be able to sell, supply and administer particular medicines.  

Draft Outline Curriculum Framework for Education Programmes to Prepare Orthoptists to Use Exemptions - The British and Irish Orthoptic Society has developed a draft outline curriculum framework to prepare orthoptists to use exemptions. It is aimed at education providers intending to develop education programmes, and individuals interested in education programmes for orthoptists to fulfil the requirements for annotation on the HCPC register as qualified to use exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012) to sell, supply and administer particular medicines.

A pdf version of the consultation response form if you prefer to post your responses to us.

Alternative formats

The patient and public summary document can also be requested in alternative formats, such as easy read, Welsh language, large print and audio. Please contact: enquiries.ahp@nhs.net

The consultation remains open for 8 weeks and responses should be sent to arrive no later than 24 April 2015, after which the consultation will be closed.

Why We Are Consulting

This document covers the consultation on proposals to enable orthoptists who have undergone the appropriate training, to be able to sell, supply and administer medicines under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations (2012).

What Happens Next

Following the close of the consultation a full analysis of the responses to  the consultation  will be undertaken.  The Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) will be asked to consider the proposals in light of comments received. CHM's advice will be conveyed to Ministers. Subject to the agreement by Ministers, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will then make the necessary amendments to medicines legislation.

It is estimated that if all elements of the proposal are approved and all the relevant organisations in a position to complete their elements of the work at the earliest possible point without delay, the first intake of orthptists on an exemptions  education programme would be in 2016.

Audiences

  • Allied health professionals
  • Foundation trusts
  • Community healthcare trusts
  • Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
  • Health Education England
  • Healthwatch (national and local)
  • Advocacy or support organisations
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Academic/professional institutions
  • Royal Colleges
  • Patients
  • Carers

Interests

  • Reducing health inequalities