The New Ways of Working Programme (NWW) supports the ongoing modernisation of the NHS by encouraging existing staff to evaluate their roles and responsibilities with a view to the full utilisation of skills across the workforce. Non-medical prescribing provides an example of workforce change and role development by which NWW can be critiqued. The introduction of non-medical prescribing within mental healthcare has supported the development of new services, increased access to medicines, promoted a holistic model of care, and reduced the distance between medical and non medical colleagues. Nurse prescribers with access to organisational and team support have proved to be safe and confident prescribers. However, a large number of nurse prescribers working in mental health services have failed to utilise their roles in practice, highlighting concerns about how to inform team members, service users and carers, about new roles, how to utilise new roles without destabilising the team as a whole, and how to employ innovative measures to evaluate the impact of new roles in practice. This article highlights and discusses these issues, and considers the current evidence surrounding the role of the nurse prescriber in mental health and learning disability care settings. The article also explores the role of healthcare professionals in supporting service users and carers to navigate through a modernised NHS.
How to CiteBradley E. (2009) “Mental Health and Learning Disability Nurse Prescribing as an Example of New Ways of Working: An Evaluation of Practice to Date”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. 6(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2009.62121