New Ways of Working Reveal Old Errors in Medicine Management


Background and Aims New Ways of Working (NWW) encourages extension of traditional caring roles. This paper discusses the impact of one of those extended roles: mental health nurse prescribing, in order to assess to what extent it meets the principles of NWW. Method Primary data was presented to two conferences on mental health nurse prescribing in 2008. The primary data constituted a grounded theory of the impact of mental health nurse prescribing in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This paper reports on verification of this theory from practising mental health nurse prescribers in England and Scotland. Results Thirty two practising nurse prescribers completed a questionnaire on the credibility of the theory. This feedback showed that the theory is a coherent representation of how nurses develop competence in prescribing. Analysis The process nurses go through to become competent closely mirror the principles of NWW. This offers practical support for the principles inherent in NWW and raises specific issues for the wider workforce. Discussion A consequence of analysing how high level nurses operate is to consider what happens to those nurses who do not operate at this level. In this instance deficits in medicine management can be seen as a function of old ways of working. Recommendations are made regarding structured education in medicines management from pre to post registration mental health nursing to address these deficits.

How to Cite

Snowden, A., (2009) “New Ways of Working Reveal Old Errors in Medicine Management”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 6(2). doi:


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Austyn Snowden






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