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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Our role in the non-medical prescribing revolution

At Health Sciences we have long been advocates of non-medical prescribing by healthcare practitioners to help patients get access to treatment more quickly.

It was our belief that non-medical prescribing would represent a major factor in the modernisation of healthcare if it was adopted.

Now the Government has announced that it will make changes to the Medicines Act 1968 to give podiatrists, physiotherapist, nurses, pharmacists and optometrists the power to prescribe treatments.

The announcement followed the publication of findings from a team of Health Sciences researchers, who were commissioned by the Department of Health to undertake a national evaluation of non-medical prescribing issues to help inform future policy, education and practice.

The team, led by Professor Susan Latter , embarked on a thorough consultation process with a broad range of healthcare professionals.

They found empirical evidence that prescribing by nurses and pharmacists is safe and effective and has the potential to significantly improve care.

In addition, senior podiatry lecturer here at Health Sciences, Dr. Alan Borthwick, also submitted evidence in favour of non-medical prescribing in his position as a member of the Department of Health Allied Health Professions Federation Medicines Project Board.

Dr. Borthwick said after the Government's announcement: "These planned changes to legislation will mean that patients will be able to receive more prompt and better access to treatment, helping to reduce the pressure on other healthcare professionals. "

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