University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Nurse Non-medical Prescribing in Palliative Care

Farquharson, Natalie and Perry, Jane (2013) Nurse Non-medical Prescribing in Palliative Care. In: Research in Focus Day ‘People, Policy and Practice’, 23rd October 2013, University of Worcester.

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Non-medical prescribing for nurses was brought about in 1992, for District nurses and Health Visitors. This led to further legislative changes to allow extended, supplementary and independent prescribing rights in 2002, 2003 and 2006 respectively. A literature search was conducted to examine the input and views around non-medical prescribing for nurses in relation to an increasingly important healthcare issue, palliative care. This is due to an increasing ageing population living with chronic and terminal conditions.

The literature revealed that nurse prescribing within palliative care could improve service quality and efficiency through prescribing for commonly occurring symptoms in palliative care, such as pain and also constipation due to the use of analgesics, without the need to wait for a GP or doctor to prescribe. A more holistic approach is taken towards patient's needs and symptoms. Positive attitudes have been shown from GP's and other medical staff. Nurses have increased levels of autonomy and responsibility as well as being shown to operate within their levels of qualification. However, prescribing course content for specialised nursing is an issue, as well as support from medical staff and concerns over confidence to prescribe and increased responsibility.

In conclusion, non-medical prescribing for nurses in palliative care appears to have a positive outcome for patients, services and the nurses themselves. However, these positive outcomes need to be highlighted to promote non-medical prescribing and facilitate effective education and clinical support for future cohorts of non-medical prescribing nurses.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: palliative care, pain relief, non-medical prescribing, NMP, nursing
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Depositing User: Natalie Farquharson
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2014 13:37
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:05

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