IFOMPT conference: Study finds that patients of physio independent prescribers have greater satisfaction levels

Independent prescribing has broadened the horizons of physiotherapists in the UK and has benefited patients.


CSP professional adviser Pip White

That was the message from Pip White, CSP professional adviser on medicines and prescribing, when she addressed the IFOMPT (International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists) conference in Glasgow on 7 July.

She described the huge amount of work that led to physiotherapists winning the right to prescribe independently in 2013. Since then, around 500 physiotherapists have become registered independent prescribers, she said.

‘For physios in the UK, it’s been fundamental to expanding practice and making physiotherapy better for patients,’ she said. ‘It has created capacity in health systems, allows service redesign, and, when you add it to our toolkit of physiotherapy, has given us a unique selling point over other professions.’

The campaign to win prescribing rights involves a number of steps, including understanding the scope of physiotherapy in your country and reviewing relevant laws, establishing a compelling, evidence-based care, and learning from the experience of others.

It also involves winning support – or at least not outright opposition – from other professional groups, and aligning your arguments with national policy direction, she added.

Afterwards, research physiotherapist Judith Edwards and Nicola Carey, a nurse and senior lecturer at the University of Surrey, disclosed interim results into an evaluation of non-medical prescribing.

Early observational result of the study, which compared care given by physiotherapy and podiatry prescribers and non-prescribers, suggest that prescribers have more involvement in medicines management although both still use patient group directives. Early findings also suggest that patients of prescribers have greater levels of satisfaction.

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