I went to watch my nine-year-old son in a school performance yesterday evening. During the interval I got chatting with one of the other mums; she works as a community midwife. We started talking about Nurse Independent Prescribing.
I explained to her that if she were a qualified prescriber she would be able to prescribe a wide range of medicines for her clients. This midwife hadn’t really thought about the scope this might have on her practice, the time it would save her avoiding having to wait for the doctor to write a prescription which she had asked for and enable her to start her client on a course of treatment promptly.
For some reason there are very few midwives who have undertaken the prescribing training. Of course they have their list of exemptions, but to be able to prescribe antibiotics for uterine infections or mastitis as an example, would surely enhance the service that they currently provide. I think one of the barriers for midwives accessing this qualification is the time they need to study when the workforce is already understaffed.
I hope that the midwifery managers understand the huge benefits to the service there would be if more midwives were able to prescribe, most especially in the community.