Prescribing for paramedics: engagement exercise

Should non-medical prescribing be extended to paramedics and, if so, how? These are some of the questions in a stakeholder engagement exercise launched by the Department of Health. Responses are invited by 12 June and will be used to inform a formal consultation on this subject by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The options being considered are: no change – so paramedics will continue to use Patient Group Directions, Patient Specific Directions and exemptions for supply and/or administration of medicines; supplementary prescribing; prescribing for specified conditions from a specified formulary; prescribing for any condition from a specified formulary; prescribing for specific conditions from a full formulary within the practitioner’s competence; and prescribing for any condition from a full formulary within the practitioner’s competence.

Some of these options will be familiar from the introduction of nurse and pharmacist prescribing, where making changes to formularies, for example, proved time-consuming.

The document says that if prescribing within competence for any condition from a full formulary is chosen, the experience of nurse and pharmacist prescribing should be used. Prescribing by paramedics could support better integration of urgent and emergency care services, in line with the government’s vision, so patients do not have to obtain their prescription from another healthcare professional.

If you would like to respond to the engagement exercise, click here.