Revised guidance to support independent prescribing by Therapeutic Radiographers now available

From 31 December 2023, appropriately qualified therapeutic radiographers can independently prescribe certain controlled drugs

Published: 22 December 2023 Government & NHS

Diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers have been able to qualify as supplementary prescribers since 2005, meaning they could only prescribe under an agreed and approved clinical management plan.

Independent prescriber (IP) qualifications became possible for therapeutic radiographers in 2016 and now with the upcoming legislation change, therapeutic radiographer IPs will be able to prescribe from a list of six controlled medications.

To support radiography professionals understand the enhanced regulatory complexities around prescribing, the Society of Radiographers has revised following key documents.

Practice Guidance for Radiographer Independent and/or Supplementary Prescribers (Version 2)

This document provides information which should underpin the decision-making and actions of radiographers who registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), either as radiographer independent and/or supplementary prescribers.

This comprehensive tool, covers the scope and standards of radiography prescribing as well as the competency needed for those looking to extend their practice.

Sections include guidance on the following topics:

  • Principles of Good Prescribing Practice
  • Special Prescribing Circumstances
  • Medicines Governance
  • Clinical Governance

Read Practice Guidance for Radiographer Independent and/or Supplementary Prescribers. Please note, this guidance should be read in conjunction with the following implementation guide.

Improving Patients’ Access to Medicines: A Guide to Implementing Diagnostic Radiographer and Therapeutic Radiographer Prescribing within the NHS in the UK (Version 2)

Setting out governance, administrative and procedural activities, this guidance will provide a framework for employing organisations looking to implement independent and supplementary prescribing by radiographers.

Adapted from Improving patients’ access to medicines: A guide to implementing nurse and pharmacist independent prescribing within the NHS in England by the Department of Health, this practical guidance aims to promote and implement safe and effective prescribing. Read our Guide to Implementing Diagnostic Radiographer and Therapeutic Radiographer Prescribing.

A positive impact on waiting lists and the patient experience

Of the forthcoming legislation change and revised guidance, Charlotte Beardmore, executive director of professional practice said:

“Therapeutic radiographers play a vital role in delivering curative and palliative treatment and care for patients with cancer and in fact, are the only healthcare professional qualified to plan and delivery radiotherapy.

By empowering radiography independent prescribers with enhanced prescribing capabilities we will see an increase in efficiencies that should have a positive impact on waiting lists. However more importantly, qualified non-medical prescribing elevates the patient journey, ensuring tailored and timely interventions for a seamless and compassionate experience.

I’d like to encourage current radiography supplementary and independent prescribers to review our revised guidance, as it provides a wealth of knowledge to help support your practice. They are also essential reading for radiographers looking for role development options and radiography services looking to implement prescribing.

On behalf of the Society, I’d like to express our gratitude to Dianne Hogg, Medicines Mechanisms Project Lead at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, for the significant leadership and work undertaken to revise our guidance. Her efforts have been instrumental in ensuring that these documents are up-to-date and accurately interpret legislation.

We also wish to recognise the significant contributions of many others who have supported the work to achieve legislative change and to ensure that our guidance is relevant and useful.”