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Should some psychologists have the option to prescribe medication?

02 October 2019

The British Psychological Society is seeking further discussion regarding possible benefits for patients if psychologists are given the option to prescribe medication.

Launched today, our new discussion document, Prescribing rights for Psychologists, is the result of a yearlong extensive consultation with individuals and stakeholders, including medical doctors, pharmacists, psychiatrists, nurses and experts by experience. 

In a response to an NHS England request, the society established a project group a year ago to consider whether the experience of service users would be improved if psychologists had the option to prescribe medication.

Dr Rebecca Courtney-Walker, chair of the project group, said:

“The positive feedback we’ve received so far has given us the confidence to proceed to this next, wider stage of consultation. 

At this time, we are still at an exploratory stage and no decisions have been made, but we recognised the need for further information and consultation to allow an informed decision as to whether psychologists should have the option of prescribing rights.”

The discussion document highlights the main benefits and concerns of giving psychologists the option to prescribe medication. It also contains quotes and viewpoints from stakeholders and individuals with varying opinions. 

Dr Rebecca Courtney-Walker added:

“We want all those with an interest in this proposal to read the document and let us know what they think.

All comments and responses will inform further discussion and become the basis for a framework document.

Following this there will be further opportunities for engagement from BPS members and external stakeholders.”

The deadline for comments and responses is 5pm on Monday the 18th of November.

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