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Nurse & pharmacist prescribing powers extended

From May 2006, the Nurse Prescribers' Extended Formulary was discontinued and qualified Nurse Independent Prescribers (formerly known as Extended Formulary Nurse Prescribers) are now able to prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition within their competence, including some Controlled Drugs. Any additional training needs should be addressed through continued professional development Scope of guidance - position in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Announcing the changes Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said:

“Nurse and pharmacist independent prescribing is a major advance in improving accessibility of medicines to patients. It will be delivered by highly skilled and well trained staff.”

Dr Keith Ridge, recently appointed Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at the Department of Health, said:

“For pharmacists, this is the dawn of a new era. It will help transform the public’s perception of pharmacy and enable pharmacists to strengthen the services they deliver to patients.

“Medicines are the most common treatment used in the care of patients and now that trained nurses and pharmacists as well as doctors can prescribe a full range, it will be much easier for patients to get the medicines they need, when they need them.”

The guidance available on this website applies to England only. Although the legislation that permits the extension of prescribing responsibilities applies across the UK, it is for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to decide whether and how it is implemented for the NHS in their countries.

For further information please refer to the following websites: (Scotland) (Wales) (Northern Ireland)

*Article taken from the Department of Health website.

Did you know about... Prepayment of NHS prescription charges

Patients who have to pay for more than four prescription items in three months or 14 items in 12 months may find it cheaper to buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC).

IMPORTANT - some people can get free prescriptions. You should check leaflet HC11 to see if you could get free prescriptions before buying a PPC.

Buying a PPC

If you think you will have to pay for more than 4 prescription items in 3 months or 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC). From 31st December 2008 a 3 month PPC will cost you £27.85 and a 12 month PPC £102.50.

Ring 0845 850 0030 to buy one over the phone using your credit or debit card

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