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LSBU rises to the new challenge facing Physiotherapists with a special event for independent prescribing

On 7 October 2013, LSBU are hosting an event for Chartered Physiotherapists considering undertaking training to become independent prescribers.
18 September 2013

Developments in the physiotherapy profession mean that advanced practitioners in the UK will be able to prescribe medication to patients without seeking authorisation from doctors. Following an announcement by the government in July 2012 to introduce independent prescribing by physiotherapists and podiatrists, curriculum frameworks were published this April for both the full and conversion programmes to independent prescribing. The Health and Care Professions Council is due to publish new standards of proficiency for prescribing by the end of August 2013, making the UK the first place in the world where advanced physiotherapy practitioners can prescribe medication without authorisation.

Many clinicians will have encountered situations when more knowledge and/or intervention with a patient's medication would have improved the care pathway, but referral was the only option. In keeping with advanced clinical roles for physiotherapists, introducing independent prescribing to the profession will improve patient care and speed up the prescription process which will additionally alleviate the pressures placed on doctors.

While the development of independent prescribing is very welcome it has to be acknowledged that traditional undergraduate physiotherapy education programmes incorporate minimal amounts of pharmacological understanding. In view of this, our team at LSBU has developed the one day 'preview' course that has been designed to draw on existing clinical skills and knowledge and reapply them to prescribing scenarios.

Neuromusculoskeletal case studies and quizzes will be used to make this day interactive and engaging, with the clinical focus on drugs used for musculoskeletal pathologies. It is expected that our Independent Prescribing for Physiotherapists Day will provide a solid foundation in rationale prescribing decision making skills and improve the confidence needed to embark upon a course to become an independent prescriber.