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Conference recognises the importance of non-medical prescribers

​Staff from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will join forces with the wider health service to share learning and recognise the important role played by non-medical prescribers at a special event taking place in Norwich tomorrow (21 September).

The Non-Medical Prescribing Conference will bring together around 120 aspiring and qualified non-medical prescribers from across Norfolk and Suffolk, including staff from NSFT, acute hospitals and primary care.

Non-medical prescribers are nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, physiotherapists, chiropodists, podiatrists and radiographers who have completed an Independent or Supplementary Prescribing Course and can prescribe certain medications to patients.

The event, which has been organised by NSFT, will give them the chance to look to the future of prescribing and take part in workshops about pain management, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal and transforming care through technology. A range of guest speakers will also appear.

Dawn Collins, NSFT’s Deputy Director of Nursing, described how the role of non-medical prescribers has changed over the years, saying: “Some nurses and other health professionals are now able to prescribe medications to patients and can be supervised to do some of the routine work that only doctors would have historically done.

“This adds value to our multi-disciplinary teams and means we can make better use of the skills of our health professionals, which allows us to work more flexibly.

“A growing number of nurses at NSFT are studying at the University of East Anglia and University of Suffolk to become non-medical prescribers, and we support them to do so.”

Guest speakers at the conference include Stephen Bazire, Professor at the UEA, who will talk about the use of antidepressants in treating depression and Teresa Budrey, Regional Director at the RCN Eastern Region, who will discuss the current themes in nursing.

Stuart Maddock, a Non-Medical Prescriber for the Bury South Integrated Delivery Team, Bury St Edmunds, said: “I am looking forward to learning more about methods of best practice at the conference and using this in my role.

“We make it quicker and easier for our patients to access the medications they need.

“Often they will already have contact with nurses, so we are able to prescribe certain medications, without having to refer them to a doctor.”

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