Pharmacists and nurses as independent prescribers: Exploring the patient's perspective

R J Hobson, Jennifer Scott, Jane Sutton

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52 Citations (SciVal)


Background. Little is known about patients' opinions upon the development of non-medical prescribing (NMP). Objective. To explore the opinions of patients on the development of NMP. Methods. In-depth interviews using qualitative methodology (Interpretative Phenomological Analysis). Eighteen interviews were undertaken in Bristol (Sites 1 and 3), Swindon (Site 2) and Brighton (Site 4). [Site 1 = primary care, GP prescriber (n = 5), Site 2 = secondary care, consultant prescriber(n = 5), Site 3 = primary care (n = 5) and Site 4 = secondary care (n = 3) (both pharmacist supplementary prescribers.] Participants (n = 18) were randomly sampled from patients under the care of the participating prescriber. Participants were aged between 42 and 81 years of age (n = 11 male and n = 7 female). Interviews took place between January and August 2006. Results. Participants expressed concerns about clinical governance, privacy and whether sufficient space were available to provide the service in community pharmacies. Participants acknowledged the expert drug knowledge of pharmacists and their accessibility. These factors enhanced acceptability of this role for pharmacists. Nurses were highly regarded, accepted and preferred as prescribers with few concerns. Conclusions. The results indicate support for pharmacists and nurses as prescribers, which aid successful implementation. Further research may be needed to evaluate the level of understanding that the public has of NMP and their views of the service once NMP is more widely established. Stakeholders should be mindful that the public may be hesitant regarding the professionalism, quality and clinical governance standards of clinics in community pharmacies in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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