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Senior nurses to prescribe controlled drugs.

Senior and specialist nurses will be able to prescribe controlled drugs, under a Home Office scheme.

Under previous rules, nurses were only allowed to prescribe a controlled drug following permission from a doctor.

Now specialist nurses willbe allowed to prescribe six controlled drugs: diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, codeine phosphate, dihydrocodeine tartrate and co-phenotrope.

These will only be dispensed to treat minor ailments and other specific situations.

Changes have also beenmade to the rules controlling Patient Group Direction, where a senior doctor and senior pharmacist authorise the administration of medicines by health professionals to groups of patients in specified situations.

Now nurses will be able to prescribe a number of controlled drugs, including diamorphine.

Home Office drugs minister Caroline Flint said: 'Patient care will be improved as the extensions will allow quicker and more efficient access to medicines, with the relevant strict safeguards to prevent misuse.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 24, 2003
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