Support Alert

Amendments to legislation: therapeutic radiographers, dietitians and orthoptists

24 Mar 2016
Amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 affecting therapeutic radiographers, dietitians and orthoptists

Legislation was approved by Parliament on 26 February 2016 and the following changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 affecting certain groups of healthcare professionals are due to come into force on 1 April 2016.

Therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers

Therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers will become appropriate practitioners who can prescribe all Prescription Only Medicines for any medical condition within their competence. They will not be able to prescribe unlicensed medicines but will be able to prescribe ‘off-label’ medicines subject to accepted clinical good practice and they will also be able to authorise emergency supplies. 

Proposed changes to legislation in relation to the use of certain controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers are still to be considered by the Home Office.

Practice Guidance for Radiographer Independent and/or Supplementary Prescribers is available on the Society of Radiographers (SoR) website.

It is anticipated that the first intake of therapeutic radiographers on an education programme for independent prescribing could be in the autumn of 2016.

Dietitian supplementary prescribers

Dietitian supplementary prescribers will become appropriate practitioners who can prescribe all Prescription Only Medicines (including controlled drugs) that are part of a patient specific clinical management plan, within their competence (including authorisation of emergency supplies). This includes unlicensed medicines and ‘off label’ medicines subject to accepted clinical good practice.

Practice Guidance for Dietetic Supplementary Prescribers is available on the Association of UK Dietitians (BDA) website

It is anticipated that the first intake of dietitians on a prescribing education programme could be in the summer of 2016 and that the first dietitian supplementary prescribers could start to practice by the end of 2016.

Orthoptists

Orthoptists who undertake additional training and obtain the relevant annotation on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register will be able to sell, supply and administer certain medicines for topical administration in the course of their professional practice under exemptions within the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. 

These medicines are:
Atropine
Cyclopentolate
Tropicamide
Lidocaine with fluorescein
Oxybuprocaine
Proxymetacaine
Tetracaine
Chloramphenicol
Fusidic acid

In addition, they will also be able to sell, supply and administer all GSL and P medicines for use in the course of their professional practice.

Practice guidance for orthoptists for the supply and administration of medicines under exemptions is available on the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) website.

It is anticipated that the first intake of orthoptists on an exemptions education programme could be in the summer of 2017, with orthoptists practicing under the exemptions by the autumn of 2017.

References and further information

SI 2016/186 The Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2016

NHS England: Summary of the responses to the public consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by radiographers across the United Kingdom 

NHS England: Summary of the responses to the public consultation on proposals to introduce supplementary prescribing by dietitians across the United Kingdom

NHS England: Summary of the responses to the public consultation on proposals to allow orthoptists to sell, supply & administer medicines under exemptions within Human Medicines Regulations 2012 across the United Kingdom
Loading...