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Minister opens Patient Centred Prescribing Conference

Now more than ever, there is a huge opportunity for health professionals to influence future services and develop their professions.
Tuesday, 29 April 2014

That was the message from Health Minister Edwin Poots today as he addressed the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP) and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy at Patient Centred Prescribing Conference in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

Speaking to an audience of health professionals at the conference, the Minister said: “I ask for your commitment, your energy and your support as together we can pursue the innovation of excellent podiatry and physiotherapy services for Northern Ireland. Staff must be given the support they need to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills to work effectively and flexibly to achieve positive outcomes for service users. This applies equally to support staff and advanced clinical practitioners.”

In 2012 the Department of Health in England announced that advanced practice physiotherapists and podiatrists in the UK will be the first in the world to be able to independently prescribe medicines without a doctor authorising their decision. This will allow physiotherapists and podiatrists in Northern Ireland to prescribe licensed medicine and to also mix medicines prior to administration. This means physiotherapists and podiatrists will have similar prescribing responsibilities to those of other non-medical professionals, for example, nurses and pharmacists.

The Minister continued: “This development will lead to major improvements in care, with patients being offered quicker and more direct access to the medicines and treatment they need. The opportunity to prescribe pain relief and other medicines will also help many patients to respond more quickly to their treatment, leading to faster improvements in movement, performance and function. This development is consistent with the aims and objectives outlined in Transforming Your Care and means patients will be able to receive the right care, at the right time in the right location.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP) are the UK Wide Professional and Trade Union for registered podiatrists. They represent approximately 10,000 private practitioners, NHS podiatrists and students, of which 450 podiatrists work in Northern Ireland.
  2. In Northern Ireland the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy represents 1,070 HSC staff as well as staff in the private sector.
  3. Media enquiries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0567, or out of office hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.