CSP responding to controlled drugs consultation

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a public consultation about the list of controlled drugs that physiotherapists can prescribe, and the CSP is encouraging members to comment on the proposals.


The consultation, which is open until 10 December, includes a proposal for the introduction of an additional four controlled drugs to the list that independent-prescriber physiotherapists may already prescribe.

Prescribing has been within the scope of the physiotherapy profession since 2005 and physiotherapists must undertake additional training and hold an additional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to prescribe.

Independent prescriber physiotherapists have been able to prescribe from a limited list of seven controlled drugs since 2015.

‘There are current limitations in place on which controlled drugs physio prescribers can use, and this public consultation is the culmination of several years’ work to extend the existing list in order to keep it fit for purpose and in line with both clinical practice and current health policy,’ says professional adviser Pip White, who represents the CSP on the NHS England chief professions officer’s medicines management project group.

The additional medicines proposed provide an adjunct to effective person-centred rehabilitation. The current inability of independent prescriber physiotherapist to initiate, modify or de-prescribe these medicines creates barriers to efficient and effective patient care, often increasing the burden on medical staff.

Consultation on reforming the law

NHS England has successfully set out the case for the reform of medicines legislation, which has enabled this consultation to take place, and the CSP has been involved in developing the proposals.

The consultation document can be found here. 

The CSP will be responding to the consultation on behalf of our membership.

Pip says: ‘We are aware that members are very frustrated that a number of national events over the years have delayed this work, but we are pleased to have finally reached this stage.

I would urge all members to support this proposal as well by submitting your own response to the consultation, and encouraging others within your work setting to respond too.

In addition, NHS England will be holding a series of online stakeholder engagement events during the course of the public consultation. To register and for more details click here.

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