Paramedic independent prescribers, legislation changes due by the end of the year


A positive response from the UK Government to the short debate in the House of Lords on 14 September. Responding on behalf of the UK Government, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, Lord Sharpe of Epsom acknowledged the specialist training to prescribe, supply and administer controlled drugs that paramedic independent prescribers undertake, and the benefits this means for both patients and wider healthcare systems.

Lord Sharpe explained that independent prescribing supports an expectation that patients should be cared for and treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional to meet their needs where it is safe and appropriate. The main purpose of paramedic independent prescribers is to allow those working at an advanced level of practice to be able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patients in a single episode of care, rather than refer them on to another healthcare professional. He went on to state that the UK Government are wholly supportive of the proposals to enable prescribing of the five specified controlled drugs by paramedic independent prescribers, as recommended by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and that changes to legislation will be made by the end of this year.

The College of Paramedics is grateful to Lord Butler of Brockwell and colleagues for their support in highlighting this issue. We will continue to work with stakeholders and policy makers to ensure the skills and knowledge of paramedics are recognised and fully utilized to benefit patients and healthcare systems.

View the full debate here - Lords Grand Committee (Government response from 13.38.46).

Read the full transcript in Hansard Healthcare: Controlled Drugs - Hansard - UK Parliament

Expanding the use of controlled drugs in healthcare Expanding the use of controlled drugs in healthcare - House of Lords Library (