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Survey of psychiatrists' views of nurse prescribing

Authors

  • T. RANA mbbs dpm mrc psych,

    1. Consultant Psychiatrist, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Park House, Cannock,
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  • E. BRADLEY phd msc bsc(hons) cpsychol,

    1. Reader in Mental Health, Staffordshire University, Faculty of Health, and Head of Research and Development, and
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  • P. NOLAN phd med ba(hons) bed(hons) rmn rgn dn rnt

    1. Professor of Mental Health Nursing, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Trust Headquarters, Stafford, UK
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E. Bradley
South Staffordshire and
Shropshire Healthcare NHS
Foundation Trust
Trust Headquarters
Corporation Street
Stafford
ST16 3AG
UK
E-mail: Eleanor.bradley@sssft.nhs.uk

Abstract

For mental health nurses and service users to realize the benefits of non-medical prescribing, psychiatrists need to understand the remit of this role and be actively involved in influencing it. Although healthcare policy in the UK supports the expansion of non-medical prescribing, it requires much more for the successful implementation of such initiatives in practice. The aim of this survey was to explore the attitudes of all grades of psychiatrist working in two mental health trusts in the West Midlands to nurse prescribing. A specifically designed questionnaire was sent out to two groups of psychiatrists to assess their attitudes towards non-medical prescribing. Psychiatrists (n = 147) completed and returned a specifically designed questionnaire of their views. The more senior doctors appeared less concerned about nurse prescribing. Junior doctors expressed equivocation towards the role, suggesting that nurse prescribers be consistently supervised and have limited access to mental health drugs. The findings from this study have considerable implications for teams if junior doctors hold different views to their senior colleagues. Without the assistance of trusts in facilitating role change, the introduction of new roles could potentially heighten conflict between professions.

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