What's the issue?
Dietitians already have supplementary prescribing rights, which means that they can train to prescribed some drugs within their scope of practice and in accordance with a patient's clinical management plan (CMP) agreed with an independent prescriber.
However, the BDA believes that full, independent prescribing rights are needed to enable advanced clinical practice dietitians to operate to the best of their abilities and deliver the best for patients. This would help to deliver better support and more timely care for patients, improved patient safety, reduced pressure on other professionals, increased system efficiency and maximise our ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic now and in the predicted post-pandemic surge on our services.
Such an extention would also build on the ground work already undertaken by NHS England’s scoping exercise over the last few years on extending prescribing rights to our members and other professionals.
What is the BDA doing?
Any change like this will require significant work, and buy in from the government. We are working with colleagues from the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Royal College of Occupational Therapy and Society and College of Radiographers to secure independent prescribing responsibilities for a wider range of Allied Health Professionals.
We are seeking to use the passage of the Medicine and Medical Devices Bill as a means to secure a commitment from the government that they will move forward with expanding prescribing responsibilities. We are delighted that Baroness Thornton, Labour Health Spokersperson in the House of Lords, has submitted an amendment to the bill that would require the government to initiative that process as a matter of urgency.