Chief Nursing Office Dame Christine Beasley has attempted to clarify the position of student midwives administering prescription-only drugs.
Students potentially faced disciplinary action for administering drugs, leading to concerns the law blocked them from gaining experience in the safe use of medicines.
But in a letter to all strategic health authority directors of nursing at the end of last month Dame Christine said she had discussed the concerns with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency who were now exploring the options.
She said that in the meantime, the MHRA “advises that they would not consider taking enforcement action” against student midwives for administering the medicines listed in the law, as long as they were “under the direct supervision of a midwife” and it was not “in the public interest” to pursue action.
RCM education and research manager Sue Macdonald welcomed the clarification. She said: “This clarification will be useful both for student midwives, and for supervising midwives who know that they must directly supervise their students.”