The concept of non-medical prescribing was first proposed in 1986 in the Cumberledge Report. This was furthered in the Crown report in 1989 and in 1992 legislation was approved to allow district nurses and health visitors to independently prescribe from a limited list formulary.
Between 1999 and 2002 pharmacists and nurse supplementary prescribing was approved and in 2006 this was extended to pharmacist and nurse independent prescribing. In 2012 pharmacist and nurse independent prescriber where granted authority to independently prescribe controlled drugs.
In 2005 supplementary prescribing was added for physiotherapist and podiatrists, with independent prescribing added in 2013. Optometrists gained independent prescribing in 2007 and more recently independent prescribing by therapeutic radiographers and supplementary prescribing by dietitians.
The concept of prescribing by paramedics was consulted on in 2015 and in 2018 legislation was approved to allow paramedic supplementary and independent prescribing. Due to split in legislation which allows prescribing, the Human Medicines Regulation and the Misuse of Drugs Act, approval is need by both the Department of Health (Human Medicines Regulations) and The Home Office (Misuse of Drugs Act).
In October 2019 following extensive work carried out by College of Paramedic members and the Medicines Special Interest Group in conjunction with NHS England, the Advisory Committee Misuse of Drugs approved a list of controlled drugs for independent prescribing by paramedic prescribers.
HCPC supports recommendations to amend medical entitlements of six HCPC professions | (hcpc-uk.org)
We are awaiting final ministerial approval in order for this to become law and we are in regular contact with both NHS England and the Home Office to seek a date for this. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to give our members a date when this will happen but please be assured the College is actively working on this matter.
David Rovardi MRPharmS, MCPara
Pharmacist Independent Prescriber and Registered Paramedic
Specialist Medicines Advisor, College of Paramedics