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PT and the Greater Good

PTs and Prescribing

Published December 23, 2013 5:38 PM by Dean Metz

I mentioned in an earlier blog that physiotherapists in the UK will soon be able to prescribe medications independently from doctors. A clarifying statement has been issued by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists:

"The physiotherapist independent prescriber may prescribe any licensed medicine from the British National Formulary, within national and local guidelines, for any condition within the practitioner's area of expertise and competence within the overarching framework of human movement, performance and function. They may also mix medicines prior to administration and may prescribe from a restricted list of controlled drugs as set out in Regulations."

That is a pretty impressive responsibility! Physios will be required to complete a course at a university and practice with a mentoring medical doctor before they can begin this activity. Currently, phyios can be supplementary prescribers. This is where they partner with doctors and prescribe under a clear remit. For instance, if they work in community respiratory care, they may begin antibiotics and or aerosols for chest infections with a medical doctor ultimately responsible for their decision-making. Independent prescribing takes the doctor out of the equation.

Would you feel confident enough in your own practice to have this ability? How will this impact on physios' liability (and the insurance)? Could this practice ever take hold in the US? Would you want it to?

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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