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Nurse/Non-Medical Prescribing for Pain: Speaker Updates and News

This important national conference provides an essential update for current and aspiring non medical prescribers on prescribing for pain. Pain is a growing area of non medical prescribing and one of the most common areas, in a 2010 survey of the Association for Prescribers members 50% of members prescribed for pain (Karen Stenner, University of Surrey). This make it essential that non medical prescribers maintain the competence and skills to prescribe for pain in an effective way, working with patients to improve pain outcomes.

Through national updates and practical case studies delegates will hear how to develop and maintain prescribing competence, and how to develop effectiveness in post qualification practice. Extended sessions developing prescribing competence and confidence, medication management, managing medication safety and preventing medication errors and overcoming the barriers to effective pain management.

Clinical case studies will share the learning from experienced pain prescribers on non medical prescribing for pain in the community, non medical prescribing for in-patient and post operative pain, prescribing for chronic pain, physiotherapist prescribing for back pain and non medical prescribing for cancer pain and end of life care.

Speaker news and presentations

Non Medical Prescribing: National Update

Dr Barbara Stuttle CBE Chair The Association for Prescribers

  • national developments in non medical prescribing
  • developing confidence and competence in your ability to prescribe
  • demonstrating compliance with the NMC Code for revalidation
  • the benefits of non medical prescribing for pain

Dr Barbara Stuttle CBE, Chair, The Association for Prescribers opened the conference with an overview of nurse prescribing. Barbara discussed the current challenges facing the NHS, and how NHS staff are doing well with the current pressures. In here presentation Barbara stated:

“We couldn’t be providing the service we do now with out our non medical prescribers – I do think a service would not service with out all our non medical prescribers”

“I think weather you are a pharmacist, nurse, physio we have developed our skills phenomenally”  

“We are a team its shouldn’t be just about the nurses, the doctors etc. we are a team and should be about how we work together”

“Revalidation is not as hard as we initially thought”

“We need to educated our population on the best services that we can provide”

“I think we have come a long way in terms of non medical prescribing it is phenomenal – I did not think we would have come along this far and it is absolutely phenomenal”

“It is all down to the right clinician providing the right care for the patient”

Dr Barbara Stuttle’s Biography:

Dr Barbara Stuttle has a highly accomplished career in the NHS, gaining a local, national and international reputation for raising standards, delivering change and driving innovations in patient services.

Achievements include leading, and successfully gaining the engagement of professionals for, culturally and structurally radical initiatives such as nurse prescribing, nurse-led practices, personal medical services and the potential of IT to improve standards, improve healthcare and evolve technology is at the point of delivering care.

Barbara Stuttle was the Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Nurse, Directorate of Quality, Experience and Safety for NHS South West Essex and has a nursing background spanning over 39 years working mainly in the Community and Primary Care Services.

From 2004-2008 Barbara was one of two National Nursing and Midwifery Clinical leads working for Connecting for Health. Her operational role involved reaching out to the whole nursing and midwifery community across England, and to connect it with practical support and resources to ensure the new technologies reflect and support rapidly changing nursing practice. She is a renowned speaker internationally and nationally.

No challenge is too high for Barbara – she sees every challenge as a new opportunity. She brings with her a wealth of expertise in all dimensions of health care. She is committed to improving services to patients and considers she is privileged to work with many great nurses and other health care colleagues.

Barbara was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by the Queen in October 2004 for her services to the NHS.

Non medical prescribing for pain

Dr Karen Stenner Lecturer University of Surrey

  • non medical prescribing for pain: where are we now?
  • what are non medical prescribers prescribing for pain?
  • prescribing for post-operative pain, acute pain, chronic pain and long term conditions, cancer pain, crossover pain
  • the range of pain management prescribed
  • improving pain outcomes
  • issues around prescribing of controlled drugs

Dr Karen Stenner’s Presentation Click Here

In her presentation Karen stated: 

“40% of UK nurses prescribe pain medications”

“The top areas for NMPs prescribe for are minor ailments, pain, wound care, dermatology and respiratory”

“Practice nurses, NP primary care are the top prescribers for pain. Lead/charge nurse and matrons come in second. Community nurses are also prescribing for pain – this shows a wide range of settings and roles are prescribing for pain”

“28% of nurses working in inpatient pain services were qualified to prescribe”

“other ways of using your prescribing qualifications – amending medications, recommending over the counter medication, medication reviews, recommending medications via hospital notes and supply and administer medicines by Patient Group Direction”

Dr Karen Stenner’s Abstract:

Dr Karen Stenner’s presentation provided an overview of the research on non-medical prescribing for pain in the UK. Until recently, little was known about the profiles or prescribing practices of nurses and other non-medical prescribers involved in treating pain. Drawing on the work of the speaker and other relevant research, the talk will cover the extent to which non-medical prescribers are involved in prescribing medications for pain, the settings in which they work and the types of medications prescribed. It will also summarise key benefits and barriers reported.   

Key messages

  • Nearly half of all nurse prescribers surveyed are involved in prescribing for pain
  • Non-medical prescribers who prescribe for pain work in a wide range of service areas, including first contact, primary care and specialist pain services
  • Most nurses surveyed estimated that they prescribe between 1 and 10 items for pain per week, however pain specialist nurses prescribe on average 19 items per week
  • A majority prescribe for patients with acute pain and most commonly prescribe NSAIDs
  • Opioid analgesics are more often prescribed by specialist pain nurses with high levels of training and experience
  • There are ongoing training needs for NMPs who prescribe for pain

Dr Karen Stenner’s Biography:

Karen Stenner (PhD, BSc) is a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. Her research has explored the use of prescribing by nurses and other health care professionals with a focus on developments around prescribing for pain and long term conditions. She is interested in the role that non-medical prescribing can play in improving health service delivery. Karen is currently working on a Department of Health funded evaluation of physiotherapist and podiatrist independent prescribing, a collaborative project with the University of Brighton.

Future events of interest:

Effective Nurse/Non Medical Prescribing in End of Life Care
Friday 24 February 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Nurse/Non Medical Prescribing in Cardiology
Friday 31 March 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Demonstrating & Improving Prescribing Competence & Practice: Implementing the New National competency framework for all prescribers
Friday 19 May 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Nurse/Non Medical Prescribing in Cancer Care
Monday 5 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

10 February 2017


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