As part of the reformation of the NHS, the Department of Health has planned to increase the number of prescribers so that patients receive a fast, more efficient service with improved continuity of care. Non-medical prescribing is undertaken by a health professional who is not a doctor. It concerns any medicine prescribed for health conditions within the health professional’s field of expertise. Research has shown that non-medical prescribing has improved the quality of service to patients; there is evidence of not just greater convenience but also of improved clinical outcomes.
How does non-medical prescribing (NMP) differ from medical prescribing?
- Non-medical prescribing places the patient at the centre of their care.
- A nurse or pharmacist will have been trained to explain fully to the patient what the medicine is for and how it should be taken.
- The NMP will ensure that patients gain improved access to information and advice which helps with understanding the decisions made about their health and care.
The aim is to understand the patient’s experience and attitude to illness and treatment; this is achieved by allowing time for the patient to ask questions, so that if the patient agrees that the medicine is needed, they will be more likely to use it correctly.
Health Education England and Norfolk and Waveney Training Hub have previously supported the delivery of the NMP module in general practice across Norfolk and Waveney. This is to help meet the demands of current and future NHS workforce challenges. Whilst this module is part of the MSc APP programme, it can also be completed as a stand-alone CPD (Continued Professional Development) module for health professionals who wish to become a NMP but who do not want to pursue the full APP MSc programme.