Our standards for prescribing apply to registrants who are trained in supplementary or independent prescribing
They are set out in two parts: the standards for education providers and the standards for all prescribers.
Standards for all prescribers
The HCPC has adopted ‘A Competency Framework for all Prescribers’ (the Framework) as its standards for all prescribers. The Framework was last updated in 2021 and the latest version is effective from September 2022.
The Framework is published and maintained by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It is available on their website.
The competencies detailed in the Framework set out the knowledge, understanding and skills that a registrant must have when they complete their prescribing training and which they must continue to meet once in practice.
Where the Framework uses the term ‘patient’, the HCPC will use the term ‘service user’ to carry out our processes and functions.
New principles for those prescribing remotely
The ability to speak with healthcare professionals via phone, video-conference and email significantly increases accessibility for service-users, but it is imperative these services do not impact on their safety.
When engaging your employees on this topic, we would appreciate it if you highlighted our new principles which have been co-created with other regulators and professional bodies to help protect patient safety outlining the good practice expected of healthcare professionals when prescribing medication online.
The ten principles, underpinned by existing standards and guidance, include the need to:
- Understand how to identify vulnerable patients and take appropriate steps to protect them;
- Carry out clinical assessments and medical record checks to ensure medication is safe and appropriate; and
- Raise concerns when adequate patient safeguards aren’t in place.
These principles apply to all healthcare professionals involved in providing consultations and medication to patients remotely.
For HCPC this includes our chiropodists, dietitians, paramedics, physiotherapists and diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.
Please make it clear that professionals delivering online services have the same obligations to follow our guidance and to prescribe safely as they would do in face-to-face interactions.
We have created these principles as a useful tool to help professionals to identify and call out where unsafe practice is taking place so this can be acted upon.