END ‘STOP-START APPROACH TO NURSE PRESCRIBING,
says CPHVA, RCN and Association for Nurse Prescribing.
The government has been urged to end the ‘stop-start’ approach to extending nurse prescribing to more nurses.
And to speed up the process, a four-point plan has been drawn up by the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), the Royal College of Nursing and the Association for Nurse Prescribing.
Responding to a consultation document from the Medicines and Healthcare Related products
Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on expanding the range of prescription medicines, the three organisations, which represent 400,000 nurses, said:
‘We welcome the proposals to make additional products available to nurse prescribers. We do believe though, that this consultation is yet another example of the ‘stop – start’ approach to developing the potential of nurse prescribing.’
The Department of Health has set a target to have 10,000 extended nurse prescribers in post by the end of 2005. By the end of 2004, only 20-30% of that target will have been achieved.
To break the logjam, they recommend a four point action plan:
- remove the link between condition and prescribable product
- allow nurse prescribers to use any product in the extended formulary for any condition for which they have the necessary competence
- identify products being used regularly in a supplementary context and devise a mechanism whereby they can be made available to be prescribed independently
- end the system through which formulary expansion jumps ahead, as a result of a particular policy initiative, rather than the expressed needs of nurse prescribers and their patients.
They said: ‘The MHRA and Department of Health should use the opportunity afforded by the expansion of the formulary, which will hopefully follow the consultation, to take a radical new look at how nurse prescribing could be truly liberated and form an essential skill of nurse prescribers.’
Barbara Stuttle, Chair, Association for Nurse Prescribing, said: ‘Nurses are developing new roles. They should be given the complete toolkit, of which nurse prescribing is an essential element, so they can do the job properly.'
Mark Jones, CPHVA Director, said: 'The fact that the three leading organisations representing nurse prescribers have come to these conclusions should make government sit up and take notice.’
‘Whilst we have pointed out the deficiencies in the system we are, of course, keen to work with the policy makers to start the change process needed to free nurse prescribers from restrictive systems and allow them to practice as needed for the benefit of their patients.'
Matt Griffiths, Nurse Prescribing Advisor, RCN, said: ‘Nurse prescribing is a key tool to modernising the NHS. Nurse prescribers are vital in offering patients more choice in the care they receive. However, the current restrictions limit the benefits for patients. If the government wants to give patient real choice, then give nurse the powers to presribe all the formulary.’
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS
For further information, please contact:
Mark Jones ( 07768 737773
Matt Griffiths ( 07909 897323
CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org
The CPHVA - the UK’s third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union.