Prescribing power could be given to physiotherapists
The UK government is considering proposals which would give physiotherapists the same power to write patient prescriptions as pharmacists and nurses.
At the moment, physiotherapists are only able to prescribe medication if working from written permission from a doctor.
However, the Department of Health is considering a change in the law, which could see physios write prescriptions for respiratory conditions such as asthma, pain relief and neurological conditions.
It is thought the move would make access to drugs more rapid and direct, at the same time as improving levels of patient care.
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Plans to enable physiotherapists, along with chiropodists and optometrists, to prescribe medicines have been in motion since 2004, after specifically trained nurses were allowed to prescribe a wide range of drugs, including antibiotics.
The Chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Ann Green, said the proposals are “a major step forward towards the goal of improving patient care delivered by physiotherapists.”
She added: “The other big benefit is that the new rights will relieve a currently unnecessary burden on doctors who are simply asked to write a prescription for medication recommended by the physiotherapist.
“Though the proposed change will mean greater responsibilities and additional training to become independent prescribers, physiotherapists are well placed to take this on as they have already been 'supplementary prescribers' since 2001.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the British Medical Association commented: “Doctors undergo years of training to equip them with the skills to be able to prescribe medicines for all conditions.
“However, there is a role for other healthcare professionals to prescribe from a limited range of medicines for specific conditions.”
The spokesperson added: “Nurses and pharmacists have been able to do this since 2009. Any extension of prescribing rights to other healthcare professionals should be accompanied by rigorous training as patient safety must be paramount.
“It will also be important for physiotherapists to ensure they tell GPs about their prescribing decisions so a comprehensive patient record can be maintained in order to avoid adverse events occurring.”
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”