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Independent prescribing starts in Wales

9 September 2014 - 4:30pm

CSP members are celebrating after the Welsh assembly published the legislation that will allow physiotherapists to gain independent prescribing rights.

Independent prescribing Wales

L-R: Course tutor Karen Vipond, Jan Fereday Smith, head of physiotherapy for Betsi Cadwaladr university health board, independent prescribing physiotherapists Maddy Nicholson, Cathy Wynne, Robert Caine, Anne Harpum and course tutor Cherie Weightman

The legislation means that physiotherapists and podiatrists in Wales who have trained as independent prescribers will now be able to prescribe medicines for their patients without a doctor’s countersignature from 24 September.

The timing is perfect for four Welsh physios who have just qualified as independent prescribers. Cathy Wynne, Robert Caine, Maddy Nicholson and Anne Harpum completed a conversion course for supplementary prescribers at Bangor university.

Mrs Wynne, musculoskeletal advanced practitioner lead at Betsi Cadwaladr university health board, told Frontline: ‘It will greatly enhance the quality of care we give to our patients. As an advanced practitioner working in primary care it means I can deal with patients in one episode without having to refer them back to a GP for a prescription.’

The four join Gary Morris, a physio at Hywel Dda health board and an associate physio lecturer at Cardiff University, who completed his conversion from supplementary to independent practitioner in June.

Delayed introduction

The legal changes were originally scheduled for March and follow similar regulations that came into effect in England and Scotland earlier this year.

Philippa Ford, CSP public affairs and policy manager for Wales, said: ‘I am relieved that this legislation is finally here. The CSP has been lobbying hard behind the scenes and now we can start to catch up with the rest of the UK.’

Physiotherapists in Wales can apply for funding for independent prescribing training from the Workforce, Education and Development Service, which works on behalf of NHS Wales, the Welsh government and education providers.

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