Nurse prescribing is mostly safe!

I saw this headline and I thought that it was a bit unfair.
The article states

“An independent review of drug prescribing by nurses and midwives has found that it is mostly safe and correct for the patient’s medical condition.

It also found that 90% of patients believed it cut their waiting time for treatment and most supported prescribing by nurses.

Dr Jonathan Drennan, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at UCD said nurse prescribing was a positive development.

There are 112 nurses and midwives who have trained for prescribing drugs following legislation which came into effect in 2007 allowing nurses to prescribe independently for the first time here.

The review says that most nurses’ prescriptions were written to a high standard, although a small number of drugs prescribed had the potential to interact with other medications.

It recommends that the national roll-out of nurse prescribing continue and that the type of drugs that can be prescribed be extended to include more controlled drugs.”

The phrase “a small number of drugs prescribed had the potential to interact with other medications.” is the unfair bit. There is no mention how this compares to prescribing errors by doctors, both junior & experienced. Probably just another example of media looking for an exciting headline rather than just telling the story. I’m afraid that there is no sexy headline in “Nurse prescribing, saves money and gives patients better service.” Don’t get me started on why there is no pharmacist prescribing to further better service to patients and save the HSE money. But then the HSE could probably run a great health service if it wasn’t for all those pesky patients.

Roll on the revolution brothers (& sisters & those of undetermined gender). Well at least an election.


Octobers Article in Irish Pharmacist

This is the article that I submitted. A slightly edited version appeared in the magazine. I suppose you always have to allow for editors prerogative. If you want to read the as published version then go here.

I was slightly surprised at the footnote that June put in. I would have assumed that most people would have understand the literary and historical references. But I checked with some readers who did not have a clue about these. Maybe they are not as well read as in the past or maybe our schools are failing. It is a bit longer than my usual pieces but enjoy none the less.

So now it’s the doc’s turn.

I heard a doc from the IMO on radio complaining that Mary Harney and the HSE wouldn’t talk to them. The issue this time was payment for administering the flu vaccine. It seems that SWMBO had set a price and given them a “take it or leave it” ultimatum. The doc was giving all sorts of reasons why they couldn’t do this and kept refraining that this could all be sorted out if there were talks. It seems that SWMBO had taken a view of competition law that there could not be any talks. It was interesting to hear that the UK Dept of Health and the NHS had no problem talking to docs on this issue in the UK recently. Hary Marney seems to take a view of European competition law that is contrary to every other Dept of Health in the EU and the European Court. But I am sure that Hairy Mary knows better than all of them put together. Europe is good for Ireland especially when the Govt chooses to ignore the bits they don’t like.

This seems all so familiar. In fact replace “pharmacist” with “doctor” in many of the stories from 2 months ago and you get the drift. I cannot help but feel if the docs supported pharmacists a bit more two months ago then they probably wouldn’t be facing this problem now. It’s funny how karma has a way of coming around.

I’m reminded of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.