A questionnaire survey of psychiatrists and mental health nurses was conducted to look at their awareness of nurse supplementary prescribing and its impact on patient care.
Response rate was 49.5% for psychiatrists and 23% for nurses. Most nurses (96.2%) and psychiatrists (91%) were aware of nurse supplementary prescribing, but more nurses than psychiatrists felt that it will provide patients quicker access to medication (P=0.023) and improve patient care (P=0.0003). Although two-thirds of the nurses felt confident to be a nurse prescriber, only 13% had actually approached a psychiatrist to be their supervisor. Most psychiatrists (54.4%) did not feel confident to act as supervisors.
Unlike nurses, psychiatrists were cautious about potential benefits of nurse supplementary prescribing on patient care. Both nurses and psychiatrists expressed concerns. As the expansion of nurse prescribing occurs, it is important for trusts to work actively with nurses and psychiatrists to address these concerns.
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