Survey of patients' experiences and perceptions of care provided by nurse and pharmacist independent prescribers in primary care
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KeywordsNon-medical prescribing; Nurse independent prescriber; Patient experience; Pharmacist independent prescriber
Permissions© 2015 John Wiley and Sons. This is an Open Access article published under the Creative Commons CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Background In the United Kingdom, nurses and pharmacists who have undertaken additional post-registration training can prescribe medicines for any medical condition within their competence (non-medical prescribers, NMPs), but little is known about patients' experiences and perceptions of this service. Objective to obtain feedback from primary care patients on the impact of prescribing by nurse independent prescribers (NIPs) and pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) on experiences of the consultation, the patient–professional relationship, access to medicines, quality of care, choice, knowledge, patient-reported adherence and control of their condition. Design Two cross-sectional postal surveys. Setting and participants Patients prescribed for by either NIPs or PIPs in six general practices from different regions in England. Results 30% of patients responded (294/975; 149/525 NIPs; 145/450 PIPs). Most said they were very satisfied with their last visit (94%; 87%), they were told as much as they wanted to know about their medicines (88%; 80%), and felt the independent prescriber really understood their point of view (87%; 75%). They had a good relationship with (89%; 79%) and confidence in (84%; 77%) their NMP. When comparing NMP and doctor prescribing services, most patients reported no difference in their experience of care provided, including access to it, control of condition, support for adherence, quality and safety of care. Discussion and conclusions Patients had positive perceptions and experience from their NMP visit. NMPs were well received, and patients' responses indicated the establishment of rapport. They did not express a strong preference for care provided by either their non-medical or medical prescriber.