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Lack of confidence a barrier to non-medical prescribing


A range of factors, including a lack of confidence, may act as barriers to practitioners becoming non-medical prescribers, a systematic review finds.

The study, carried out by Jim Blanchflower, lecturer in pharmacology, physiology and nutrition at the University of Salford, found that as many as 11 different factors may prevent practitioners from training as non-medical prescribers.

These are: confidence; dangers and perception of risk; education; conflict between professions; attitudes of all stakeholders; legislation; employer support; need; communication; awareness of opportunities; and medical apathy.

The study, which found evidence mainly related to nurses and pharmacists, also considered what non-medical prescribing leads, service managers and organisations could do to improve uptake of non-medical prescribing training courses. It suggested the following:

  • Improve education;
  • Identify training gaps;
  • Financial incentives;
  • Deliver CPD on site;
  • Use of simulation technology;
  • Increase awareness of opportunities.

Readers' comments (2)

  • I have asked my employing GPs several times since I accepted the position 5 years ago, and the lead GPs response was "It is not the way nursing is going" and "It is not the way I want to run this practice". I enjoy my role as a practice nurse very much, but find it incredibly frustrating that one one professional can dictate how another profession can perform. I have attended several specialist courses at Level 3 and Masters and even though my knowledge in those areas is equal or even exceeds that of a GP, I still have dither outside their doors for a prescription to be signed that they themselves have not attended updates on.
    When I have broached my local PCT or even the NMC or the RCN for support, I am always referred back to "...taking it up with my employer". I cannot change jobs because I need the stability of my income and have been dismissed twice in the past because I was not deemed to be pliable enough by the GPs that employed me. There are many archaic GP employers of practice nurses still out there and this needs to be addressed in QOF.

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  • Your employer sounds very short-sighted! No doubt you are running chronic disease registers and ensuring QOF points are achieved for them. I think you need either to change employer for one who is comitted to your professional development. The skeptical part of me suggests discussing your concearns one last time with them putting it is writing and explaining that hanging about outside their doors is no tin the best interests of your pts. and is professionally and personally deaming and poor use of your time! Would they hang around outside your door? no of course not. Sorry about my poor spelling! GPs need to keep up with the times- its in their own best interests!

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