During my career as a pharmacist, who is able to prescribe has changed beyond recognition.
From nurses through to pharmacists and allied healthcare professionals, more and more of us are studying for a prescribing qualification. It’s driving a revolution in healthcare and increasing access for patients.
The NHS needs solutions to the pressures it faces and maximising the skill mix of the existing workforce as part of the push for more integrated care is giving the profession significant opportunities.
We welcome the new NHS England guidance on responsibilities for prescribing between primary and secondary/tertiary care. There is still work to be done to improve the way that prescribers prescribe and support patients with effective and safe medicine use across care settings.
The standardisation of prescribing practice should lead to an increase in safety, quality and ultimately better patient outcomes. This was behind our thinking when back in 2016 RPS led the development of the update to the single Competency Framework for all Prescribers to support all prescribers to prescribe effectively.
Supported by a wide range of Royal Colleges and organisations for the prescribing professions, the framework sets out a common set of competencies to underpin prescribing regardless of professional background. It includes competencies for prescribing as part of a team and ensuring continuity of care across care settings as well as emphasising the importance of accepting personal responsibility for prescribing and understanding the legal and ethical implications.
Leadership around prescribing is central to ensuring higher standards of practise and united working between professions and across settings. There are more pharmacist prescribers than ever before and new opportunities opening up to train as one in England in the new models of care being established. The RPS will continue to advocate for more pharmacists to train to become prescribers and have roles which allow them these skills. Achieving this goal will help improve the quality of life of millions every day. These prescribing documents are vital tools to getting this right.