Dietitians and other Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) have consistently shown through secondary prescribing rights that we can be trusted with independent prescribing rights. By not providing independent prescribing rights for UK dietitians, we are adding unnecessary layers of bureaucracy onto an already overstretched NHS, and slowing down the care and service transformation that patients need.
That’s why the BDA has joined with other AHPs such as the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, British & Irish Orthoptic Society, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and the Society of Radiographers to launch our Prescribing Now campaign. This campaign aims to pressure the UK Government into taking the necessary steps to allow our members across all four nations of the UK independent prescribing rights, to deliver the efficient and necessary care that patients deserve.
Dietitians already have supplementary prescribing rights, which means that they can train to prescribe most drugs within their scope of practice and in accordance with a patient's clinical management plan agreed with an independent prescriber.
However, the BDA argues that full, independent prescribing rights are needed to enable advanced clinical practice dietitians to practise at the top end of their license and deliver the best possible care for patients. This would help provide services with better support and more timely care for patients, improved patient safety, reduced pressure on other professionals and increased system efficiency.
Such an extension 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. This is a common-sense policy and one that we need to see delivered.
You can watch this fantastic video by dietitian Dr Alison Culkin on why independent prescribing rights are so important for the profession and patients.
Prescribing Now is a joint campaign across a number of AHPs to push the UK Government to make the necessary policy changes to give independent prescribing rights to dietitians and other AHPs across the four nations. It builds on the work that the BDA and others have already done in this space to push forward this important issue. We’re working tirelessly to state the case for independent prescribing rights and drive the necessary change within the Department for Health and Social Care to secure it.
As a dietitian and member of the BDA there is a lot you can do to support our campaign and help make our voice heard by the Government.
Enough waiting - it’s time for Prescribing Now!