Exploring independent nurse prescribing for mental health settings


A. Jones
Llwyn-y-Groes Psychiatric Unit
Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Croesnewydd Road
Wrexham LL13 7TD
E-mail: adrian.jones@new-tr.wales.nhs.uk


The purpose of this study was to explore issues relating to the implementation of independent nurse prescribing (IP) in mental health settings. Nurse prescribing in mental health has been promoted through various policy documents and has been subject to extensive research enquiry. Independent nurse prescribing is the latest form of prescriptive authority although little is known about how it can be used in mental health settings. Focus groups were used to collect qualitative data. In total, 22 nurses and three psychiatrists joined one of five focus groups. A form of grounded theory was used to analyse the data. Three major findings will be discussed. The first theme related to how IP could support system redesign and new ways of working. The second theme revolved around the form of future training and competency requirements to support an IP role, and the third theme was about the types of setting and diagnostic restrictions that need to be considered for IP. Findings suggest an overall cautious view on IP for a range of clinical settings. Implications for practice include the impact on new roles for nurses and psychiatrists and how nurses can best be trained and supported to carry out IP safely.