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A Practical Guide to Effective Nurse / Non-Medical Prescribing in Mental Health

Non Medical Prescribing in Mental Health: Current Development

Lianne Edwards
Advanced Practitioner / Non-medical prescriber
Kemple View Hospital, Priory Healthcare

• how non-medical prescribing is being used in mental health settings in the UK
• developing confidence and competence in your ability to prescribe
• the benefits of non medical prescribing in mental health 

‘Non Medical Prescribing – Independent prescribing started in England in 2006’, ‘Only 9.7% of NMP’s are Mental Health trained nurses’

Lianne says ‘It’s fair to say there are a lot of benefits of Non Medical Prescribers’  

During her presentation Lianne said ‘Building relationships with the patients really helps with discussing medication and anecdotal evidence suggests that ward/team staff are more willing and confident to engage in dialogue regarding medication with a NMP rather than a medic’

When talking about her experience of being a NMP, Lianne said ‘I think it helps that we also work out of hours – we are there at weekends and in the evenings’ ‘NMP increases service efficiency, increases access for patients and frees up RC time for more complex cases’


Ensuring competence and confidence in and across prescribing practice

Dr Deborah Robertson
Lecturer In Adult Nursing 
School of Health and Society
Salford University

• improving non medical prescribing practice
• implementing the national competency framework
• the new Designated Prescribing Practitioner Framework
• ensuring you have the history-taking, clinical assessment and diagnosis skills to prescribe appropriately and effectively
• keeping your prescribing knowledge up-to-date: accessing education, training and resources
• difficult issues: pharmacology & prescribing decision making, understanding comorbidity issues and drug interactions
• understanding your limits of practice and competence

Debs started her presentation by asking ‘What is Competency? – If you look it up it says Knowledge, skills, motives and personal traits’

Whilst discussing how to ensure competence and confidence in and across prescribing practice Deb asked ‘How do we improve NMP Practice? One of the things I suggest is Audit – we don’t like doing it but it’s important and gives us an overview of what is happening in our practice’

She went on to ask ‘How do we develop competence? This can be done by Theoretical underpinning, clinical application and reflection’ ‘ You never stop learning or gaining confidence as you prescribe’ 
‘Reflection – you need to reflect on good and bad practice – celebrate good practice and learn from episodes that didn’t go so well’

Debs also stressed that’s it’s important to ‘Maintain competence. Ways of achieving this are  – Ongoing performance development and review’ and ‘I can’t stress enough the importance of CPD to allow you to continue practice and to remain on the register’


We are running our next conference on A Practical Guide to Effective Nurse / Non-Medical Prescribing in Mental Health on 6th July!

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