chapter  5
Non-medical prescribing
Pages 18

The introduction of non-medical prescribing (NMP), that is, the prescribing of medicines by health-care professionals other than doctors, was first discussed in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1986 (DHSS 1986). Almost thirty years later it is now an exciting opportunity for nurses and others, made possible by government policy and supported by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (Department of Health [DOH] 2000a, DOH 2003a). The main aim of the renewed policy was to streamline access to medicines for patients and best utilise skills and knowledge of all health professionals, recognising in modern health care a doctor may not be the most appropriate person to supply a medicine or product (DOH 2003a). However the initial reviews were only a beginning. In addition to these early changes further amendments to legislation have recently taken place which extend this scope further, as seen in Table 5.1.