Physios & prescribing #physiotalk 2nd February 2015

In Monday 2nd Feb at 8pm(GMT) we’ll be discussing non-medical prescribing by physiotherapists.  The chat with be co-hosted by Dave Baker (@davebakerphysio) and Pip White (@pipwhitept).

The chat will focus on prescribing by physiotherapists, but in the next couple of months we’re also planning to hold a similar chat via #WeAHPs on non-medical prescribing by allied health professions (more info coming later this Spring).

Non-medical prescribing by physiotherapist


Physiotherapists in the UK have been legally able to train as Supplementary Prescribers since 2005 and as Independent Prescribers since 2014.

After years of hard work by AHP leaders and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, just over 2 years ago the UK became the first country to initiate proposals to allow physiotherapists to become independent prescribers (see article here), with legislation taking effect in 2014 (see here).

As this is a relatively new development for the physiotherapy profession it is useful to gain better understanding of physiotherapists’ attitudes towards prescribing, and insights into how this may develop and improve patient care. It is also useful to understand the potential concerns of physiotherapists, other healthcare professionals, and patients in relation to these changes.

Many physiotherapists have relatively little undergraduate and post-graduate training relating to medicines and pharmacology and during the chat we’re planning to explore how members of the physiotherapy profession feel about improving our knowledge and skills in this area to improve patient care, and competency in advising patients about medicines management.

The chat will explore the following questions:

  • What prescribing mechanisms are you currently using in your local services?
  • Do you know the difference between an ‘unlicensed’ and an ‘off label’ medicine?
  • Where could physio prescribing help your current clinical pathways?
  • Have you presented a case for physio independent prescribing in your service?
  • Have you collected any physiotherapy outcomes data on physio prescribing effectiveness?
  • Which of your key population groups would be helped by physio independent prescribing?

Useful information

About our hosts

Pip White: Pip is a Chartered Physiotherapist and pursued a clinical career with the NHS, the Royal Air Force, & elite sport before being an ESP in musculoskeletal practice. Pip completed her Healthcare Law degree 2012.

Pi p is a Professional Adviser at The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.  Pip provides practice guidance on professional, regulatory and medicolegal practice in physiotherapy. Pip’s specialist area of legal knowledge is in medicines use and prescribing in healthcare practice. She leads the Society’s work in developing practice in this area, and was part of the successful Department of Health Project Board that secured Independent Prescribing for physiotherapists and podiatrists in 2012.

Dave Baker: David is an Extended Scope Practitioner (ESP) at Homerton Hospital Community Services and has specialised in musculoskeletal care for 15 years.. David qualified as a supplementary prescriber in 2008, and following this he was seconded part-time to City University, London lecturing in topics including pharmacology of analgesics, non-medical prescribing and medicines management. David has also works freelance, lecturing extensively around the UK since 2010, on a number of bespoke courses relating to analgesic medications, injectable substances and medicines management issues for physiotherapists and MSK practitioners.

David presented at Physiotherapy Congress 2010 on the development of physiotherapy-led prescribing clinics in primary care and won a Service Innovation award for the development of physiotherapy led specialist pain clinics at City & Hackney PCT in 2011.

David is one of the first physiotherapists to qualify as an independent prescriber and to use his prescribing skills both in the NHS and in private practice. David is clinical director of Complete Physio Ltd and is vice-chairman of professional network ‘ ACPOMIT’ (The Association for Chartered Physiotherapists with an interest in Orthopaedic Medicine and Injection Therapy). David has a specialist interest in ultrasound guided injections, being one of the few physiotherapists in the country to also be dual qualified as an MSK sonographer.

Post-chat info

It was great to have a range of views and experiences during that chat: with 684,912 impressions, 315 tweets, and 45 participants.  Click here for a link to the chat transcript and here for the chat analytics

#PhysioTalk Participants

Chat support

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