An audit of non-medical prescribers at an acute hospital trust found one quarter were not continuing to prescribe.
The audit, carried out at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and presented at the NHS North WestPrescribing for Success conference last week, revealed that 14 out of 54 registered non medical prescribers were not currently prescribing.
The reasons included issues with using the homecare company, one pharmacist was not using their supplementary prescribing qualification due to medical prescribers being unavailable, and one nurse prescriber no longer had a clinical role.
Fifteen sets of completed audit forms were returned. These 15 staff members carried out a total of 589 prescribing episodes over the two weeks studied, and generally they were prescribing drugs relevant to a specific clinical indication or section of the British National Formulary. Some, usually those working in emergency/minor injuries, prescribed across a number of BNF categories.
Many prescribers were using their qualification less formally, providing telephone and face to face advice to GPs and hospital prescribing colleagues, for patients in their care.
Twelve prescribers always used licensed medicines for licensed indications, while three used some licensed medicines “off-label”. One used supplementary and 14 used independent prescribing.
The audit was presented at the trust’s non medical prescribing CPD event and the trust plans to repeat it in the coming months.