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Innovation in the Allied Health Professions: Evaluation of supplementary prescribing by dietitians and independent prescribing by therapeutic radiographers

Trial Status: Open

A recent change in the law allows Dietitians (Ds) and Therapeutic Radiographers (TRs), working at an advanced level, to prescribe medicine for patients that they treat.
Dietitians, who manage diet and feeding for many health problems, can now prescribe medicines from a treatment plan agreed with a doctor. This is known as ‘supplementary prescribing’. Therapeutic Radiographers, who deliver radiotherapy and manage the side effects of this for people with cancer, can now assess patients and prescribe medicine without the need of a doctor. This is known as known as ‘independent prescribing’. Research on prescribing by other professionals, such as nurses and pharmacists, shows benefits to patients and to the NHS. From talking to patients, we know that faster access to medicines is important so this change may be welcomed if patient safety is assured.
We aim to study the effect of D & TR prescribing on patients, staff and services. We will study how prescribing is used and identify where it works well, in order to help managers to plan services. The project will be conducted by an experienced research team, including a patient advisor, and will be guided by clinicians, managers and a patient group to provide advice and help design research tools.
An early and comprehensive evaluation of D-SP-TR-IP is therefore required. An earlier phase of the study, comprising surveys qualified Ds & TRs and those who manage their services has already received University ethics approval. This application is for ethical review of a case study that comprises one phase of the study.