Therapeutic radiographers at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have trained to become non-medical prescribers.
Heather Nisbet, consultant therapeutic radiographer in radiotherapy treatment review; Loryn Caulfield, consultant therapeutic radiographer in gynaecological cancer; and Suzanne Dance,
advanced therapeutic radiographer in head and neck cancer, are among the first in the UK to be trained and to qualify to prescribe medications and drugs.
Therapeutic radiographers were first granted the legal right to train to prescribe in March 2016, and the group from Oxford University Hospitals have graduated from a course run by Oxford Brookes University.
Trainees learn for one day a week for the first term of the academic year, followed by 90 hours of supervised practice and 150 hours of face-to-face learning with a designated medical practitioner.
Once qualified, the radiographer can diagnose their patient's condition, identify a potential treatment and advise the patient on the risks, benefits and outcomes of the medication before prescribing it.
Jan Keenan, trust lead for nurse and AHP prescribing at OUH said, "This is a really exciting development for our patients; allowing allied health professionals to prescribe not only offers fast access to treatment, it also reduces the workload of our hospital registrars and GPs.
"Another benefit is that an AHP will often know their patient very well, having cared for them for some time, so they will have a thorough knowledge of their condition and how they respond to treatment."