2017-18 Physiotherapist CD Prescribing Project

NHS England is undertaking a project to review the limited list of controlled drugs (CDs) that physiotherapists may independently prescribe. 


Physiotherapists who are independent prescribers have been able to prescribe a limited list of seven controlled drugs since 2015. As part of its wider programme of medicines work, NHS England is undertaking a short project to examine the ‘case of need’ for any changes to the existing CD list for physiotherapists.

  • Are you frustrated that you can’t prescribe the controlled drugs that you need?
  • Do you need to prescribe codeine or tramadol?
  • Worried what will happen if Gabapentin and Pregabalin become CDs?

Yes? Then we need you to get involved. Your views will help us exert our influence and make the case for revising CD legislation. We want to do this because we believe it will improve the care physiotherapists can provide to patients and enhance the impact physiotherapy can make to people’s lives.

Get involved

We have created a template form to make it easier for you to give us the type of information that we need. Please use the form at the bottom of the page and share it with colleagues too.

Don’t collect the information we need? Don’t worry. There is enough time to allow you to undertake a quick sprint audit of your services to gather some data.

Why we need this data

We know many of you have told us what drugs you believe you need to prescribe and have told us subjectively why this is. However, making the case to change the law is very difficult and closely scrutinised, so we will need more than this to be successful. This is because controlled drugs have complex issues to consider and many are outside healthcare control and practice.

We need clear objective data on the need for change, and the impact the limitations the current list is having on patient experience, patient outcomes and clinical/service effectiveness. The more information we have, the better the case we can make.

Please return your completed forms to cdupdate@csp.org.uk

Any recommended changes must be approved by both the Commission on Human Medicines and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs before physiotherapists can change their prescribing activities.