Only appropriate practitioners can prescribe medicine to patients according to UK law. These appropriate practitioners are either independent prescribers or supplementary prescribers. Independent prescribers are professionals who can give medical prescriptions on their own initiative while supplementary prescribers can only do it in accordance to a pre-agreed care plan which have been drawn up between a doctor and a patient.
Who Can Prescribe Medication?
Independent prescribers are qualified to assess your health and make clinical decisions on how to manage your condition. This include giving appropriate medication. The following is a list of independent prescribers:
- Podiatrists – these are foot care specialist
- Physiotherapists – these are health professionals who use physical technique to promote healing e.g. massage
- Optometrist independent prescribers – although they cannot give any prescriptions of controlled medicines independently, optometrists can give prescriptions for conditions that affect the eye or surrounding tissue
- Pharmacist independent prescribers – pharmacists can give prescriptions to medical conditions that are within their competence in addition to prescribing some of the controlled medicine except dipipanone, cocaine and diamorphine to treat addiction
- Dentists – they can give any prescription to treat any medication to treat any medical condition that affects your teeth
- Doctors – these include your general practitioner or hospital doctor
- Nurse independent prescribers – nurses are allowed to give prescriptions to medical conditions that are within their competence while still prescribing some of the controlled medicines. However, cocaine, diamorphine and dipipanone are an exception
Is There Any Other Way To Get Medication?
On the other hand, supplementary practitioner offer health care after your independent prescribers have assessed your health. In fact, they work hand in hand with your independent prescribers to fulfil a clinical management plan between the prescribers and the patient. They include:
- Diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers that are specialist in using imaging techniques such as X rays
- Optometrists – the professionals who specialise in examining the eyes, dispense glasses and contact lenses as well as test sight
It is important to know that, in addition to giving controlled medicines, supplementary prescribers can give a variety of prescriptions that are within their competence. They only need to remain within the agreed clinical management plan.