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Podiatrists become drug prescribers.

TWO NHS staff members have become the first podiatrists in Wales to qualify as supplementary prescribers.

Rosalyn Thomas, the Swansea deputy head of podiatry and Kath Brenton, deputy head of podiatry, who are employed by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, gained the qualifications.

It means that the pair will be able to prescribe a range of medicines from an agreed list of drugs to patients within a care plan.

Supplementary prescribing has previously been available to nurses and pharmacists and some other professions allied to medicine.

Supplementary prescribing is defined as a "voluntary prescribing partnership" between an independent prescriber and a supplementary prescriber, to implement an agreed patient-specific clinical management plan with the patient's agreement.

The independent prescriber - usually a doctor or dentist - is responsible for setting the parameters of the clinical management plan.

The supplementary prescriber has discretion in the choice of dosage, frequency, product and other variables in relation to medicines only within the limits specified by the clinical management plan.

Only those drugs which have been included in the plan can be prescribed.

Nurses and pharmacists have since been given the option in Wales to go on to become independent prescribers, which allows them to prescribe from the British National Formulary.

Ms Brenton said: "It was an intense course, with a third of the students failing. We had to pass four exams, with pass marks of 100% in one and minimum of 80% in the others."

And Ms Thomas said: "This will hopefully benefit the patient as they will be able to receive the necessary prescription in the clinic instead of them having to make a second appointment to see their GP."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 30, 2009
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