Non-medical prescribing

1 February 2020

Non-medical prescriber, Teresa Clark

Non-medical prescribing arrives at the RHN

Physiotherapist, Teresa Clark, has recently qualified as the RHN’s first non-medical prescriber. Non-medical prescribing (NMP) is any prescribing done by a healthcare professional other than a doctor or dentist. To qualify Teresa had to study for a post-graduate certificate in NMP and then do a period of supervised clinical practise in prescribing.

Teresa said “Physiotherapy prescribing remains a new and exciting path, with a lot of trailblazing to be done.”

Many patients and residents at the RHN have spasticity after their brain injuries. Spasticity is uncontrollable muscle contractions and spasm. It can be uncomfortable, makes it difficult for people to be independent, or for others to care for them. Teresa is the Brain Injury Service physiotherapy clinical specialist and professional lead. Clinically, she specialises in supporting people with spasticity. She had already completed masters level training to independently provide botulinum toxin injections, a drug which helps spastic muscles to relax. With this experience she realised that it would be helpful to patients if she could also prescribe the medicines that she regularly uses.

Having Teresa as a non-medical prescriber means that the RHN can try to create a more efficient service for our patients and residents. The time from when people are referred for botulinum toxin injections to receiving treatment has already reduced. Teresa keeps a comprehensive record of goal-setting and treatment outcomes, which help us to understand treatment successes and areas where we can do better. Through the analysis of audit results, this can help improve future care and contribute to the evidence base in this specialist area.

Teresa added “I hope to generate research output and share this beyond the RHN. This will support better care for our patients and residents, other people like them and support the RHN’s reputation.”