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Home Industry News Government introduces new prescribing guidelines

Government introduces new prescribing guidelines

23rd March 2007

Nurses and pharmacists could soon be able to prescribe certain medicines in order to increase flexibility of services within the NHS.

The government is launching two consultations on the proposals, which will consider whether it is feasible for patients to get a selection of controlled therapies from nursing staff or chemists.

Among the drugs to be considered suitable for the widening of prescription and administering powers are diamorphine and morphine to be used in the treatment of people needing urgent pain relief.

“Enabling nurse and pharmacist prescribers to prescribe those controlled drugs they are competent to use?allows these highly trained professionals to use their full range of skills to help their patients,” commented health minister Lord Philip Hunt.

The spokesman added that the planned changes would ensure patients are able to get medicines quickly and efficiently from a wider range of healthcare staff.

Led by the Home Office, the first consultation will examine the case for changes to be made to the misuse of drugs regulations while the second review will be conducted by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

In May 2006, the National Patient Safety Agency introduced practice notices to NHS hospitals to warn staff against the dangers of accidentally administering morphine overdoses.

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