Press Release

RPS calls for legislation to increase number of prescribing mentors

14 Jul 2016
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has today published the new, updated single Competency Framework for all Prescribers in collaboration with all the prescribing professions and patients. The Society is calling for legislative change to enable any experienced prescribing professional working in a multidisciplinary environment to monitor any health professional learning to prescribe.
RPS President Ash Soni said: “The high demand on NHS services coupled with the move to new roles for pharmacists as part of the greater integration of the professions is increasing the need for prescribers. We want to see legislative change so any experienced practising prescriber working within a multidisciplinary team can mentor any health professional.
“This would give greater access to the support needed when undertaking a prescribing course.  We would still want to ensure that some time is spent with a doctor so the two professions can learn from each other.  
“With new developments in the roles of pharmacists in the community, in GP practices, hospitals, care homes and urgent care this move will help pharmacists provide a new type of care that will really benefit patients.” 
The Competency Framework outlines a common set of key competencies central to effective performance needed by all prescribers, regardless of their professional background and in addition support for the continued professional development of all prescribers.  
The Framework helps support healthcare professionals to be safe, effective prescribers.  It can be used by any prescriber to underpin professional responsibility for prescribing and also by regulators, education providers and professional organisations to inform guidance and advice. It will also help patients and carers identify good prescribing practice.  The Framework sets out ten competencies, focused on the consultation process and prescribing governance, within which are statements describing the activity or outcomes prescribers should be able to demonstrate.  
Ash Soni added: “Both the number of medicines prescribed and the complexity of medicine regimes are increasing.  The challenges associated with prescribing the right medicines and supporting patients to use them effectively should not be underestimated.   
“There’s lots of evidence to show that much needs to be done to improve the way we prescribe and support patients in effective medicines use. This user-friendly guide will be invaluable and I’m delighted the RPS has co-ordinated the update.”
The Framework has been endorsed by the four Chief Pharmaceutical Officers of the home nations and eleven organisations representing prescribing professions.  You can find out more about the Framework on our hub page.