The National Health Service (NHS) has recently concluded its 8 week consultation period on their proposal to introduce supplementary prescribing for dietitians across the UK. The consultation closed on 24th April.
If all elements of the proposal are approved, and there are no delays to the process, it is estimated that the first intake of dietitians on a supplementary prescribing education program would be as early as 2016.
There is a draft framework for the education program for dietitians to become supplementary prescribers.
The NHS believes that there is a need for allied health practitioners to prescribe medications because in many clinical pathways they are the lead clinician but are unable to “optimise the effectiveness of patient care” without prescribing rights.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is one of the organisations who has supported the consultation.
The BDA says that “Not all dietitians will be able to train to become supplementary prescribers and therefore only the most experienced dietitians working at an advanced level would be eligible to undertake a supplementary prescribing course.
Advanced dietitians are experienced specialist dietitians who have consolidated their specialist practice and undertaken further education and training to advanced level.
Advanced dietitians have developed their critical reasoning and clinical decision making skills, and extended their knowledge through further higher education, mentorship and training to work at an enhanced level of practice.”
According to the NHS “Following the close of the consultation a full analysis of the responses to the consultation will be undertaken. The Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) will be asked to consider the proposals in light of comments received. CHM’s advice will be conveyed to Ministers. Subject to the agreement by Ministers, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will then make the necessary amendments to medicines legislation.”
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