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Prescribing Rights for Psychologists

The Professional Practice Board established a project group in 2018 to consider whether there is a need for the extension of prescribing and medicines supply mechanisms to include qualified statutorily regulated psychologists.

This review was originally requested by NHS England, and could have the potential to improve the experience of service users as well as giving the profession an opportunity to progress.

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

During our preliminary consultations three main areas of concern were raised, so I wanted to address these up front:

  1. Should psychologists as a profession gain prescribing rights, the choice of an individual psychologist to train and prescribe would be optional.

  2. A programme of training, mentoring and post qualification governance would have to be agreed to meet the regulations and standards set out by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Health and Care Professions Council to ensure that psychologists have the appropriate competencies to fulfil the role.

  3. Should psychologists gain prescribing rights, it would be expected that they would be working within a multidisciplinary team or practice network that would enable seamless access to medical support to meet the physical health needs of service users; they would not be working in isolation in private practice.

Other professions which have obtained non-medical prescribing rights have faced up to ten years or more until they saw the first prescribers in their profession trained.

At this stage, we want to ensure that we have engaged as far as possible with BPS members and other stakeholders to ensure that your views are listened to.

Thank you for engaging.

Rebecca Courtney-Walker

Chair, BPS Prescribing Rights Task and Finish Group

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