A postal questionnaire survey was conducted of the directors of nursing of all mental health NHS trusts in England, in order to examine current activities and attitudes regarding nurse supplementary prescribing (NSP) in psychiatric settings.
Fifty-four per cent of nurse directors returned the questionnaire. They perceived that NSP was an important means for improving patient care and treatment, particularly in community settings. In their opinion, psychiatrists were generally not opposed to its introduction. To date, relatively few mental health nurses have received training in NSP.
Directors of nursing have positive views and experiences of NSP. Widespread implementation of NSP is likely to occur over the next few years and psychiatrists will need to consider how this will impact on their role.
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