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Assistant Practitioners and the Supply and Administration of Medicines and Contrast Agents

This statement is published to clarify the role of assistant practitioners in the supply, administration and prescribing of medicines (including contrast agents) within imaging and radiotherapy departments.



Assistant practitioners are not permitted, by law, to use Patient Group Directions (PGDs). 



A PGD is a written instruction for the supply or administration of medicines to groups of patients who may not be individually identified before arrival in the department. PGDs are a legal requirement when supplying or administering ‘prescription only medicines’ (POMs), and if the drug is a different category (pharmacy or general sales list), PGDs are also considered good practice. 



PGDs can be used by certain registered practitioners including radiographers, but assistant practitioners are not registered and regulated practitioners and therefore they are NOT permitted to use PGDs.  


It is advised that where the initiation of an exposure also initiates the administration of a contrast agent eg automatic pump injectors, these devices are neither loaded by an assistant practitioner, nor do they initiate the exposure in their role as an Operator under IR(ME)R.

It is understood that some assistant practitioners are trained to insert “Venflon”™ and similar devices. We advise that the patency of the device is again checked by the radiographer or other registered healthcare practitioner before initiating administration of contrast agents or other substances.
 

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