Paramedics with specialist training will be able to prescribe, supply and administer specified controlled drugs, including morphine sulphate, diazepam, codeine phosphate, midazolam, and lorazepam, following a positive response from the UK Government to the short debate in the House of Lords on 14 September.
Responding on behalf of the UK Government, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, Lord Sharpe of Epsom stated that the UK Government are wholly supportive of the proposals to enable prescribing of the five specified controlled drugs by paramedic independent prescribers, as recommended by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and that changes to legislation will be made by the end of this year.
Lord Sharpe explained that independent prescribing supports an expectation that patients should be cared for and treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional to meet their needs where it is safe and appropriate.
The main purpose of paramedic independent prescribers is to allow those working at an advanced level of practice to be able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patients in a single episode of care, rather than refer them on to another healthcare professional.
In a statement, the College of Paramedics said that they are grateful to Lord Butler of Brockwell and colleagues for their support in highlighting this issue and added: “We will continue to work with stakeholders and policy makers to ensure the skills and knowledge of paramedics are recognised and fully utilized to benefit patients and healthcare systems.”