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Why are not all qualified prescribers prescribing? Supporting nurses prescribers post qualification to make use of prescribing in their everyday practice

Julie Gray Lead Nurse – Quality and Standards and Suzanne Frank Trust Lead – Non-medical prescribing, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust discussed Why are not all qualified prescribers prescribing? And Supporting nurses prescribers post qualification to make use of prescribing in their everyday practice at today’s conference. In their presentation Julie Gray and Suzanne Frank discussed:

  • the barriers to prescribing post qualification
  • supporting nurses and non medical prescribers to use the qualification in practice
  • beyond the course: demonstrating continued competence to prescribe
  • the role of prescribing in supporting advanced practice 
  • re-starting your prescribing journey
  • our experience in the Christie

Julie Gray and Suzanne Frank's full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

During the presentation Julie Gray Stated:

“Christie specialist oncology treatment centre. It's currently the largest in Europe. We treat somewhere around 40,000 patients a year across the UK and employ around 2,500 staff.”

“The role of the non medical prescriber, to us, is key in achieving our objectives.”

“In terms of our NMPs we've had NMPs in practice for around 13 years at The Christie.”

“We know that lots of the literature out there talks about why when people are qualified they don't go on to prescribing in practice. There are a number of barriers including organisational constraints, control by medical consultants, lack of confidence in prescribing.”

“She said after auditing their own staff they found that more than 95% were actually prescribing.”

“Suzanne Frank talked about the executive support the trust has for None Medical Prescribing and the fact that executives from across the trust took time to attend and open the regular NMP training course run by the trust.”

“Staff need a certain degree of competence to pass the course so we ask them how many of them hold a higher qualification.”

“We're aware that we have got a cohort of quite established nurse clinicians who are all likely to retire at around the same time leaving us without a huge chunk of organisational memory.”

“We meet with every newly qualified NMP in the trust together for about an hour and discuss what our expectations are from them and what support they can expect from us during their working career at The Christie.”

“We also offer a buddy system. We have a lot of really, really experiences staff who have worked in oncology for years”

“We also have a dedicated NMP intranet page, and an NMP share point restricted to just those people on the NMP register.”

“We hold twice yearly conference style CPD events. They are always, without exception, opened by a member of the exec team. They speak for about 20 minutes and then for the rest of the day it's clinical presentations delivered by the consultants. It's really important to me that the consultants run that, because for me, without the NMPs those consultants wouldn't be able to run their clinics, so it's about giving something back and making the NMPs feel like valued members of the organisation.”

“Another thing we've developed over the year is a re-affirmation of competence policy. She said that was used as an annual review; following a break in practice and for any NMP new to the trust.”

“We feel that they systems we've put in place has broken down some of the barriers around why people within the organisation feel confident to prescribe while qualified.”

During the presentation Suzanne Frank stated:

“We know doctors aren't increasing at the same rates as patients and our executives are starting to see NMPs as possibly filling that gap.”

“All of our consultants strongly agree that the NMP provide valuable support to junior doctors and improve the clinical effectiveness of service delivery in their area.”

“Our consultants overwhelmingly stated that they thought there was a need, a benefit and a scope for more NMPs in the trust. The majority wanted both pharmacists and nurses in the NMP role.”

Future events of interest:

Nurse Prescribing for Wound Care
Tuesday 19 January 2016

ICO Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing for Pain
Wednesday 3 February 2016
Thestudio Conference Centre, Birmingham

Masterclass: Drug Calculations & Mathematics for Nurse Prescribers
Friday 11 March 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Effective Nurse Prescribing in End of Life Care
Friday 15 April 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Download: Julie Gray and Suzanne Frank's full presentation

3 December 2015

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