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Final comments about supply, administration or prescribing of medicines including contrast agents

Respondents gave a range of comments, some of which are reproduced below:

Comments from diagnostic imaging departments:

Radiographers are best placed (with training) to supply, administer or prescribe medicines including contrast agents as part of a radiological examination.

I am an independent practitioner and the inability to independently prescribe heeds my practice and does not support my patients. There is no requirement for a radiologist to be on site so it is difficult to cover acute situations where immediate pain relief is required. The requirement for radiographers to be independent in prescribing is essential to deliver best patient care.

Working in MRI we often get asked to prescribe something to relax/calm anxious patients before their scan. This is due to a high number of claustrophobic patients. If MRI staff were allowed to be SPs it would be greatly beneficial for waiting times of patients and time slots on the scanner. Currently if we know in advance, patients have to visit their GP to get some medication. However we often do not know until the time of scan. This leads to trying to get the patient on the scanner for up to thirty minutes and either failing or obtaining a sub-optimal study. Then we have wasted slots.

Needs to be a standard criteria used by all, to include training, monitoring (auditable), testing. There are too many differing policies in place.
As a reporting radiographer it would be very useful to be able to recall patients for IV contrast without having to contact a radiologist

As an experienced MRI radiographer, it would be providing a better service to the patient if I was allowed to make decisions about giving contrast to enhance incidental findings appropriately when a radiologist is not available, to prevent the patient needing to return for it, causing delay to patient treatment.

Would support prescribing rights, plus looking ahead at sedatives for patients with claustrophobia in MRI, and certain pain relief would also be advantageous and both would save on referring back to GPs etc...

Comments from radiotherapy departments:

Within our department we have a team of radiographers who use both PSDs and Supplementary Prescribing to support patients in coping with treatment toxicity. This service could be further improved if radiographers were able to practice as independent prescribers.

Prescribing, supply and administration in the appropriate context by radiographers has brought significant benefits to patients by reducing time in the department through improving access to medicines etc. We currently do not have PGDs in place as previous efforts to establish have proven difficult to agree with local pharmacy.

We really want to be able to prescribe with extended working days and site specialist staff including a consultant radiographer:  this seems the best possible solution for the patient.
As radiographers, we are unwilling to undertake the prescribing courses that are available until we can then independently prescribe in line with nursing staff - it seems unrealistic to complete the same course as nurses to then only be allowed to supplementary prescribe.

Review and consultant radiographers would find it very useful to be independent prescribers when assessing and dealing with radiotherapy reactions and side effects. It can be very restricting if there are only limited or no medications on PGDs and limited access to consultant oncologists to prescribe other medications. It is even more limited out of hours or during bank holiday/weekend working in some centres. Supplementary prescribing is a good start but very limited when dealing with emergency patients who do not have a care plan in place.

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