Medicines, prescribing and injection therapy

Medicine use, prescribing and injection therapy are within the scope of the UK physiotherapy profession.

Consultation on controlled drugs

The outcome of the NHSE/I Pubic Consultation was strongly supportive of pursuing the addition of 4 controlled drugs to the Physiotherapist Independent Prescriber Controlled Drug Formulary.

The proposed changes to medicines legislation and the findings of the consultation were presented by NHSE/I to the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) on 2nd July 2021. The CHM make recommendations to Ministers in the Department of Health regarding changes to the Human Medicines Regulations. NHSE/I are still awaiting the outcome of the CHM meeting and we have no indication when that might be.

As this proposal relates to controlled drugs, changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations are also required. This means that if the CHM support changes, the NHSE/I and CSP project team must also take the proposals to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) which makes recommendations to Ministers within the Home Office regarding changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations. We have no indication when this might occur.


Medicines

All physiotherapists can give medicines advice to their patients. This is an expectation of reasonable physiotherapy practice for many conditions.

They can also supply and administer medicines to patients under either a Patient Specific Direction, or a Patient Group Direction.

Medicine use
Colourful drug tablets shown in blister packets

Prescribing

Physiotherapists who have additional prescribing annotations to their HCPC registration may prescribe all licensed medicines - including seven controlled drugs - which are within the scope of physiotherapy prescribing practice.

Prescribing for physiotherapists
Practice guidance for physiotherapist supplementary and/or independent prescribers

Injection therapy

Injection therapy is the administration of medicines, and other selected products, to intra- and extra-articular tissues and joint spaces by invasive injection.

Injection therapy also includes aspiration of joint spaces.

Injection therapy in physiotherapy
an injection syringe