Proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics across the United Kingdom

Closed 27 May 2015

Opened 26 Feb 2015

Overview

In recent years, the NHS has allowed a wider range of allied health professions (AHPs) to prescribe or supply and 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 prescribing or 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 paramedics, working at an advanced level and who have undergone the appropriate training, to be able to become independent prescribers of medicines 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 paramedics 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 for 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 for paramedics to become independent prescribers across the United Kingdom, and which should be read before completing the consultation response form:

Consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics 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, benefits and risks of the introduction of independent prescribing by paramedics. The consultation is an opportunity to gather additional evidence to further inform the costs, benefits and risks.

Draft Practice Guidance for Paramedic Independent Prescribers – this has been developed by the College of Paramedics and provides information which would  underpin the decision-making and actions of paramedics who are annotated with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as independent prescribers.

Draft Outline Curriculum Framework for Education Programmes to Prepare Paramedics as Independent Prescribers - the College of Paramedics has worked in partnership with several other AHP professional bodies to develop a draft outline curriculum aimed at education providers intending to develop education programmes and individuals interested in education programmes for paramedics to fulfil the requirements for annotation on the HCPC register as independent prescribers.

A pdf version of the consultation response form.

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 12 weeks and responses should be sent to arrive no later than 22 May 2015, after which the consultation will be closed.

Why We Are Consulting

This document covers the consultation on proposals to enable paramedics, working at an advanced level and  who have undergone the appropriate training, to be able to prescribe medicines independently.

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 paramedics on an independent  prescribing 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