Association for Prescribers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How do I join the Association for Prescribers?

Joining is easy; complete the online registration form and securely pay at the checkout.

How much is it to join?

The annual cost to be a member of the Association is £30.00

How do I contact the AFP?

Email the admin team at admin@associationforprescribers.org.uk or telephone 01245 327763

How do I attend an AFP conference?

Information about future conferences will be on the Diary Dates page. You will need to complete a booking form to attend.

I am a student on the NMP prescribing course, can I join the AFP?

Students in their first year of study can join the AFP for £15.00.

What is the aim of non-medical independent prescribing?

  • to provide patients with quicker and more efficient access to medicines
  • to make best use of the skills of trained healthcare professionals e.g. Nurses and pharmacists
  • to free up doctor’s workload so that they can concentrate on patients with more complicated conditions and complex treatments

What are the roles and responsibilities of the non-medical prescriber?

How does this differ for those practising as supplementary prescribers (SP)?

  • to be the clinician responsible for the individual’s care including diagnosis and assessment
  • to undertake approved training and be registered as an IP with their professional body
  • to keep up to date with best practice in the management of conditions for which they may prescribe and to demonstrate evidence of relevant CPD
  • to reflect on their prescribing practice through evaluation, audit, peer review and clinical governance arrangements
  • to work and prescribe within the limits determined by own clinical competence and professional code of conduct
  • to accept professional accountability and clinical responsibility for their prescribing practice and to work within a clinical governance framework
  • to record all patient consultations in the same common patient record to ensure patient safety
  • to communicate effectively with other practitioners involved in the care of the patient
  • Refer the patient to another practitioner when it is necessary to do so.

For SPs

  • to agree an individual CMP with the IP and the patient
  • to take responsibility for the patient’s care under the terms of the CMP
  • to prescribe within the limits specified within the CMP
  • to pass responsibility back to the IP if the clinical review has not been carried out or the patient’s condition no longer falls within their competence

What conditions and health needs can be undertaken by NMPs?

  • There are no legal restrictions on the clinical conditions that may be dealt with by independent prescribers.
  • If acting as an SP

  • There are no legal restrictions on the clinical conditions that may be dealt with by a SP. Supplementary prescribing is mainly intended to manage chronic medical conditions but acute episodes occurring within chronic conditions may be included in management provided they are included in the CMP

Can a non-medical Independent Prescriber prescribe?

  • Unlicensed medicines
    Nurse independent prescribers (but not community practitioner nurses), pharmacists, physiotherapists and optometrists may all prescribe unlicensed medicines subject to accepted clinical good practice for medical conditions within their competence. Optometrists are restricted to prescribing for ocular conditions affecting the eye and surrounding tissue only.
  • Off-label medicines
    Nurse independent prescribers (but not community practitioner nurses), pharmacists, physiotherapists and optometrists may all prescribe unlicensed medicines subject to accepted clinical good practice for medical conditions within their competence. Optometrists are restricted to prescribing for ocular conditions affecting the eye and surrounding tissue only.
  • Controlled drugs
    Nurse and pharmacist independent prescribers may prescribe controlled drugs (Schedule 2-5) on a prescription (but not cocaine, dipipanone or diamorphine for treating addiction) for any medical condition within their competence.

    Currently (August 2014) podiatrist and physiotherapist independent prescribers cannot prescribe or authorise an emergency supply for any controlled drugs. The legislation to enable prescribing of controlled drugs by these professions has been set in the Human Medicines Regulations but it has NOT yet been set in the Misuse of Drug Regulations 2001, as amended. When legislation has been passed physiotherapists will be limited to only those controlled drugs which contain dihydrocodeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone or temazepam. Podiatrists may only prescribe dihydrocodeine or temazepam.
    Optometrists and Community practitioner nurses are not allowed to prescribe any controlled drugs.
    Supplementary prescribers may prescribe any controlled drug (Schedule 2-5) other than cocaine, dipipanone or diamorphine for treating addiction) subject to clinical competence and inclusion within a clinical management plan.

Can a non-medical prescriber issue private prescription?

Yes. Must be clinically competent to do so.

Can non-medical prescribers administer parenteral medicines?

Yes but only those medicines that they are authorised to prescribe as an IP (or as an SP within the CMP) and provided they are competent to do so. They may also issue directions for the parenteral administration of the same medicines.

Can independent prescribers prescribe for themselves, their family or friends?

  • It is generally considered poor practice to self-prescribe or to prescribe for persons for whom there is a close personal relationship. The regulatory body for Doctors (General Medical Council) advises that doctors must wherever possible avoid prescribing for themselves or anyone with whom they have a close relationship. The regulatory body for nurses (Nursing and Midwifery Council) advises that nurses and midwives must not prescribe for themselves and, other than in exceptional circumstances they should not prescribe for anyone with whom they have a close personal or emotional relationship. It may be acceptable to prescribe for this group in an emergency. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society have defined prescribing in an emergency to
  • Save life
  • Avoid significant deterioration in the patient’s health or
  • Alleviate otherwise uncontrollable pain, and no other person with the legal right to prescribe is available to assess the patient’s clinical condition and to prescribe without a delay which would put the patient’s life or health at risk, or cause the patient unacceptable pain.

Who is liable for the actions of a non-medical prescriber?

  • the employer is held vicariously liable for the actions of an IP (note; check that the scope of the role has been agreed)
  • the IP is accountable to their professional body for their actions

Chair's Blog:

Association for Prescribers Annual Conference 2017

Places still available for the Association for Prescribers Annual Conference – NMP – Care, Innovation & Quality. As always this will b...


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