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Non Medical Prescribing

Non Medical Prescribing originated from, and has evolved following, the Report of the Advisory group on Nurse Prescribing (The Crown Report) (DoH, 1989) which concluded that nurse prescribing would lead to better care for patients with faster access to medicines, enhance better use of nurses’ and doctors’ time and foster better communication between health professionals.

UK legislation to allow appropriately trained nurses and pharmacists to independently prescribe any licensed medicine came into effect in Scotland in 2006.

Further legislative changes followed which expanded prescribing capacity to include some allied health professionals in 2007, and in April 2012 to allow nurse independent prescribers and pharmacist independent prescribers to prescribe, supply and administer certain controlled drugs. There are now two categories of nurse prescribers and one category of Allied Health Professional (AHP) prescriber:

  • Community practitioner nurse prescribers
  • Independent and supplementary prescribers
  • AHP supplementary prescribers

Guidance for non medical prescribing in Scotland:

Educational Preparation for Nurse Independent Prescribers

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2006) has set out standards for the educational preparation of nurses for prescribing: Standards of Proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers, London: NMC and will only approve programmes in Approved education Institutions (AEIs) which meet these standards. Currently, NHS Education for Scotland undertakes all aspects of quality assurance on educational programmes on behalf of the NMC in Scotland.