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Independent Prescribing by Paramedics to be Recommended for Implementation

Posted: 12.12.2017

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The College of Paramedics is delighted to have received the news that the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has supported the case for independent prescribing by paramedics and will now be recommending  implementation by making a submission to Government ministers.

This is a huge step forward in what has become the rapid, but safe and sustainable, development of improved care for patients by the paramedic profession in the UK.  However, there is still a process to be undertaken, not least of which will involve the enactment of the recommendation into legislation which could take up to a further year to complete. The College of Paramedics will provide specific guidance at each stage to ensure that members who are aspirant prescribers are fully informed of developments.

Paramedics will follow a common non-medical prescribing course, based on the Outline Curriculum Framework for prescribers, developed across relevant professional bodies, supported by the Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF). This course will be available to eligible paramedics to undertake after the law changes. Those paramedics who successfully complete the course will have their registration annotated as qualified independent prescribers on the HCPC register. The College will be working with the HEIs, NHS England, HEE and the members of the AHPF to make courses available, and to develop the evaluation of paramedics in prescribing roles in the future.

The work led by NHS England on paramedic prescribing, and which also included the work to introduce independent prescribing for therapeutic radiographers; supplementary prescribing by dietitians, and the use of exemptions by orthoptists, represented phase one of ongoing medicines development for AHPs. The College of Paramedics is involved in phase two of this work which will see a review of the paramedic exemptions listed in Schedule 17 of Human Medicines Regulations 2012. The work on exemptions affects all paramedics from newly qualified paramedics, through to those in advanced practice roles, and who may in future prescribe. Exemptions are the cornerstone for the administration of emergency parenteral medicines and represent one of several mechanisms for the use of medicines by paramedics. This, along with the introduction of independent prescribing by advanced paramedics, demonstrates trust and belief in the paramedic profession, which must continue to promote excellent underpinning knowledge and professional standards in order to optimise safe care for patients. The potential move to degree level first registration is essential to support this as a credible, “prescribing ready” profession.

These projects have been running since 2009, with phase one representing well in excess of three years of work to reach this stage and phase two will see many more years of work to reach completion. The Board of Trustees of the College of Paramedics acknowledges the financial support given by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) during the first year.  And the Board is extremely grateful to Health Education England (HEE) which, along with the College, has funded the project throughout its lifetime.

To have reached this milestone has required an enormous amount of dedication and effort.  The Board of Trustees extends its fullest appreciation to Andy Collen (who has taken a central role over the long-term as the College’s Lead on Medicines and Prescribing), Gerry Egan, Kevin Reid and Dylan Griffin  who so ably represented the College at the presentation to the CHM. Professor Barry Hunt, whose subject knowledge and expertise were invaluable in guiding the College’s effort, Andy Sharman and the members of the College’s Medicines and Prescribing Special Interest Group.

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What a fantastic achievement to progress the process to this stage. Congratulations to all involved and we all look forward to a successful delivery to this great work. Wonderful news.

Added by: johnwood237@msn.com on: 12.12.2017

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