The Future

Non-medical prescribing is an area that is changing rapidly. At the time of writing, the Department of Health was undertaking a consultation exercise regarding options for expanding independent nurse prescribing (DH, 2005b). The Evaluation of Extended Formulary Independent Nurse Prescribing carried out by the University of Southampton (DH, 2005a) found that the vast majority of nurses considered the limited formulary placed unhelpful limitations on their practice, and on 10 November 2005 the health secretary announced the results of this consultation. The press statement stated:

From spring 2006, qualified Extended Formulary nurse prescribers and pharmacist independent prescribers will be able to prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition - with the exception of controlled drugs (DH, 2005c).

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