The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published guidance for non-medical prescribers who want to expand their prescribing scope of practice.
The new guidance, ‘Expanding prescribing scope of practice‘, was published on 7 June 2022 and accompanies the existing ‘Competency framework for all prescribers‘, which was published in September 2021.
The guidance is intended to support pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals, who are already qualified independent prescribers (IPs) but are interested in broadening the area in which they prescribe.
This may include diversifying the range of conditions an independent prescriber feels confident prescribing in; providing a new pharmacy service, such as pain management; starting a new job, or doing the same job but in a new setting.
The guidance is aimed to provide a structured framework though which IPs can identify where they need more development; plan how they can develop more skills and confidence — such as through self-directed learning, training courses and mentoring — and understand how best to document their growth in expertise.
The RPS has provided various case studies involving healthcare professionals from a range of sectors, including that of a pharmacist who was already prescribing medicine for most patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) but wished to expand his scope to include confident prescribing for pregnant women with UTIs.
The guidance was commissioned and funded by the Welsh government, with input from experts from several sectors, including pharmacy, physiotherapy and nursing.
Claire Anderson, president of the RPS, said: “[The new guidance] provides a structured approach for those wanting to change or expand their scope of prescribing practice.
“This recognises that whilst many pharmacist prescribers will be working as generalists, their prescribing training generally has a narrow speciality focus.”
Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales, commented: “[This document is] vitally important at a time when service developments are demanding more from the non-medical prescriber workforce.
“In Wales, the guidance will support the delivery of the new community pharmacy contractual framework, which includes a community pharmacy national independent prescribing service, and I am equally keen to see it supporting service developments right across the UK,” he added.