latest health care news

20.08.13

Independent prescription powers for physiotherapy

Physiotherapists and podiatrists are now able to prescribe medication, in a move to speed up treatment and allow patients to receive care closer to home.

Care minister Norman Lamb said the new legislation, which comes into force today, will be especially helpful for those living with long-term conditions. Practitioners will have to complete a training course approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and will only be able to prescribe medicines relevant to their role.

Lamb said: “This change will not only benefit patients by making it more convenient to get treatment but it will also free up valuable GP time. We are showing the world that the NHS is at the forefront of healthcare, paving the way for other countries.

“Physiotherapists and podiatrists are highly skilled professionals and these changes will allow them to give better care to the millions of people with acute and long term conditions.”

Phil Gray, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: “This is a landmark moment that will lead to patients receiving faster, more effective treatment for their condition.

“Physiotherapists being able to independently prescribe – for the first time anywhere in the world – will remove bureaucracy, free up time for doctors and save money for the NHS. But the most important impact of this new responsibility will be seen in the quality of care patients receive.

“Patients will be able to access pain relief and other medication quicker and this should help them get greater benefit from their physiotherapy. It is good news for patients and an important step forward for the NHS.”

Joanna Brown, chief executive of the College of Podiatry said: “The new legislation will provide patients with more prompt and better access to treatment, helping to integrate care and reduce the pressure on other health care professionals. Podiatrists play a key role in the management of conditions such as diabetes, arthritis of the foot and ankle and dermatological conditions of the feet. The ability to independently prescribe will particularly benefit patients in these areas.”

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