Nurses to be given more prescribing powers

Patients needing medicines in an emergency will be treated more quickly under plans to expand nurse prescribing announced Health Minister, John Hutton, today.

Under the new proposals, nurses could prescribe medicines used to treat life threatening conditions such as blood clots, DVT and meningitis and help to relieve the burden on accident and emergency staff.

The consultation is part of a drive to make better use of nurses' skills and to make it easier for patients to get access to the medicines that they need. Nurses can already prescribe over 180 prescription only medicines, and the consultation today proposes to add over sixty medicines to treat thirty new medical conditions. Nurse prescribing is an important part of developing the role of nurses in delivering frontline care and a patient-centred service.

Health Minister, John Hutton said:

"Extending nurse prescribing is an important part of our commitment to modernise the NHS. By breaking down traditional prescribing roles, patients can more easily access the treatment they need and are able to more fully benefit from the NHS' highly skilled workforce.

Today's proposals will particularly improve emergency care for patients and help to relieve the burden on staff working in A&E".

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