Evaluation of the practice and impact of Non Medical Prescribing in the North West

Prescribing has traditionally been considered a medically dominated activity but is now extended to other health professionals. The first such were nurses, but now pharmacists and latterly allied health professionals are also extending their role. Little is known about how health professionals manage the prescribing role within their other responsibilities, the supporting structure and inter-professional relations including collegiate and mentor relations with medical practitioners.
A collaboration of course leaders from 8 North West universities and members of the Strategic Health Authority have developed an audit of support systems, role definition, surveys of course graduates, medical colleagues and patients to evaluate the impact of prescribing health professionals in the North West of England. There are a number of strands to the evaluation, designed to triangulate information qualitatively and quantitatively.
The study is a 3 stage design, in process.

Stage 1 – audit of management, resource and support systems at North West trusts.
Stage 2 - builds upon the audit exploring some of the barriers and facilitators to resource prescribing health professionals using a focus groups of prescribing leads in each area.
Stage 3 involves 3 linked surveys on roles, resources, support systems, effectiveness and impact of non medical prescribing health professionals on the health service:

Survey 1: Prescribing health professionals qualified in the North West region.
Survey 2: Medical practitioners working with non-medical prescribing Health Professionals in the North West
Survey 3: Patients of non-medical prescribing health professionals in the North West.

Lead Investigators

Sue Hacking
Jean Taylor


Course Leaders from Universities of: Bolton, Chester, Edge Hill, John Moores, MMU, Cumbria (currently St. Martins), Salford


Strategic Health Authority North West

Further Information

Conference presentations

December: International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research & Interprofessional Practice in Health and Social Care organised by members of Goodenough College and the Institute for Interprofessional Practice and Learning at the South West Academic Network (a tripartite alliance between Kingston University, St George’s and Royal Holloway, University of London). Goodenough College, London.