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Independent prescribing breakthrough for physiotherapists trained at Glyndŵr University Wrexham

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October 19 2015

Physiotherapists will be among the first in their profession to be able to prescribe drugs independently since new legislation was introduced to help reduce the workload of doctors in Wales.

An inaugural cohort of physiotherapists from Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board and Powys Teaching Health Board have passed Glyndŵr University’s Non-Medical Prescribing for Allied Healthcare Professionals programme.

They will now be able to diagnose and prescribe medication to patients independently and in partnership with doctors.

Glyndŵr University has offered the non-medical prescribing course to nurses since 2003 but in light of pressures on the Welsh healthcare system, approval was given in 2013 to extend the qualification to other healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists and podiatrists.

Eleri Mills, senior lecturer in nursing, said: “We’re extremely proud of our record in training hundreds of healthcare professionals in North Wales over the last 12 years.

“Seeing the first cohort of independently-prescribing physiotherapists graduate from the Non-Medical Prescribing course is the latest milestone in this achievement.

“Ultimately, their new skills will allow treatments to be delivered to patients faster than ever before, helping to improve the efficiency of healthcare in the region overall.”

The physiotherapists were among a group of 29 other healthcare professionals, including nurses and pharmacists, who have been studying on the part-time course since January 2015. Workers from Powys and Shropshire were also part of this year’s cohort.

The Welsh Government has agreed to fund a further 43 places on the Non-Medical Prescribing course at Glyndŵr University for next year. The course will commence from January 2016.

The extension of prescribing responsibilities to non-medical professions was introduced in Wales to support implementation of ‘Designed for Life – Creating World Class Health and Social Care for Wales in the 21st Century, May 2005’.

Introducing non-medical prescribing in Wales aims to enable increased patient choice in accessing medicines; improved access to advice and services; appropriate use of skilled healthcare workforce; contribution to the introduction of more flexible team working across the NHS; increased capacity to meet demand of new ways of working; and improvement in patient care without compromising patient safety.

For more information on healthcare courses at Glyndŵr University visit Glyndwr.ac.uk or email enquiries@glyndwr.ac.uk

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