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First wave of physios set to qualify as independent prescribers

26 February 2014 - 6:49pm

Eight CSP members have completed one of England’s first independent prescribing courses for physiotherapists.

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The class of physios and podiatrists who attended the first independent prescribing course held by London South Bank University

The physios were among the first intake of students on a conversion course for practitioners who were already supplementary prescribers. It was held at London South Bank University (LSBU).

As independent prescribers, the physios can prescribe medicines for their patients without a doctor’s counter-signature.

One of them, Rosalie Barrett, clinical lead physiotherapist at Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said: ‘This is a really exciting time for physiotherapy and a huge milestone for the profession.

‘It’s the conclusion of a long campaign to allow physiotherapists the autonomy to prescribe independently within their specialised fields.

‘We already assess, diagnose and treat and now we are being given the recognition that we are specialists and we can ensure faster, more efficient patient care.’

Before a government ruling in 2013, physiotherapists were only able to train as supplementary prescribers. This meant they could only prescribe medicines that had previously been listed in a patient’s clinical management plan and agreed beforehand by a doctor.

Enhancing rehabilitation

CSP professional adviser Pip White said the first wave of physios to qualify as independent prescribers represented a ‘significant landmark’ for the physiotherapy profession.

‘It’s great to see the first physiotherapists taking up the opportunities of independent prescribing,’ said Ms White.

‘We now need to show how physio independent prescribing enhances the rehabilitation that our members provide for their patients.’

The LSBU course ended in February and the attendees will be able to use their new skills in April, once their qualifications have been recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The physios who studied with Ms Barrett were Stephen Ashford, Stan Chapman, Suresh Sudula, Lucy Goldby, Katherine Longhurst, Mohamed Youssef and Vijayaragavan Padmanaban.

The HCPC website includes a list of higher education institutions that provide approved independent prescribing programmes

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