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The current state of paediatric non-medical prescribing

02 December 2023
Volume 5 · Issue 12


Prescribing for children and young people highlights many complex issues that may not be relevant in other fields of non-medical prescribing. Ongoing changes to legislation pose challenges, requiring paediatric non-medical prescribers to be vigilant in their daily prescribing practice. This article aims to address pertinent challenges and barriers frequently seen in prescribing for children and young people, including not only organisational and human factors, but also legal issues, controversial prescribing, education, the impact of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and how that has influenced the rise in childhood obesity, in itself an important element.

Organisational factors have been identified as a barrier to optimum paediatric non-medical prescribing (Noblet et al, 2017). This can include time for continuous professional development (CPD) once qualified, or even obtaining the required hours during the non-medical prescribing module.

Finding a supportive designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) is paramount, and although the DPP may be a senior member of the non-medical prescriber's (NMP) team, there must be adequate time and effort for training and reflection which must be considered (Jarmain et al, 2023). This can be at risk, especially during the winter months when winter pressures have an impact on paediatric space and resources, including staffing (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 2019).

Unscheduled care for children needs to be taken into consideration when planning specific supervision time. Having an awareness of course or module commitments and requirements, for both the student and the DPP, can support the student's progress, and organisational planning needs to be carefully considered so as to not to hinder the student's development (Graham-Clarke et al, 2018).

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