22 Sep 2022

The Health and Social Care Secretary Therese Coffey has today announced that she has pledged to improve access to GPs, including same-day appointments for those that need them as part of her department’s new plan in England. While we welcome this announcement, we agree with GP leaders that the announcement as is will have ‘minimal impact’. A way in which the Department for Health and Social Care can deliver a reform that will increase capacity for GPs is by providing Dietitians and other Allied Health Professionals with independent prescribing rights.

Currently GPs and Dietitians are faced with an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy within the UK where they must seek GPs sign off to prescribe medicine to their patients. This is within the specialism of nutrition and dietetics and delays both the Dietitians ability to provide care to their patients, as well as taking up the GPs time with admin that could better be spent on their own patients. We are therefore continuing to call on the Government to review independent prescribing rights for Dietitians and other AHP professions and deliver an easy win for our NHS and patient waiting times.