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Keywords:

  • nurse prescribing;
  • specialist mental health

Accessible summary

  • • 
    Many nurses now prescribe medication under the supervision of a psychiatrist, however there remains little guidance and dissemination in terms of how this can be achieved.
  • • 
    This study aims to look at the views and experiences of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in a single specialist mental health team, regarding nurse prescribing. Nine health professionals from a mixed-profession mental health team attended a taped discussion group; and two psychiatrists were interviewed, both of whom had varying degrees of supervision experience.
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    Psychiatrists reported concerns about prescribing, in terms of their need for better support and communication. Nonetheless, the psychiatrist who had experience of supervision reported many benefits. Health professionals stated that nurse prescribing improved team working; however, most had limited knowledge about what nurse prescribing involved.
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    Further training for teams, setting up a good supervisory relationship and an agreed working plan are required to fully establish nurse prescribing into specialist mental health services.

Abstract

The establishment of working relationships between nurse prescribers and other health professionals, particularly psychiatrists offering supervision, can be a rewarding one. However there remains little guidance in terms of how this can be achieved and the opinions of those from different disciplines in specialist mental health teams. This study aims to look at the views and experiences of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals regarding nurse prescribing. Nine health professionals from a multidisciplinary mental health team attended a focus group; and two psychiatrists were interviewed, both with varying degrees of supervision experience. Psychiatrists reported concerns about prescribing in terms of themselves needing better support and communication, and perhaps having an involvement in the selection process. Nonetheless, the psychiatrist who had experience of supervision reported that this was highly positive. Overall, health professionals stated that nurse prescribing enhanced team working; however, most had limited knowledge about the role. Further training for teams, and the establishment of a good supervisory relationship and an agreed working structure are required to fully integrate this competency into specialist mental health services.