​Nurse Associates Allowed to Give Patients Drugs Unsupervised

By Josh Jezard

​Nurse Associates Allowed to Give Patients Drugs Unsupervised

• Training for the first batch of associates will begin in January at 11 sites

• The nursing associates will then qualify fully after their 2-year course

• They will be trained at care homes, mental health trusts and hospices

Nursing associates will be expected to calculate drug doses and independently administer controlled medications.

According to Nursing Times, a leaked document suggests that Health Education England are proposing for nursing associates who undertake the new curriculum will be allowed to carry out invasive procedures on patients without direct supervision.

The circulated document states “By the end of the programme, the trainee nursing associate will be able to deliver planned nursing interventions… in a range of health and/or care settings under the direction of a registered nurse without direct supervision, delivering care at times independently in line with an agreed/defined plan of care”.

What does this mean for the nursing profession?

Some have expressed their concerns as to the confusion this could cause in the workplace.

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, of nursing policy at Kings College London, said “It does not appear to be well thought through…What are these people not able to do? It also raises questions over accountability because of the confusion it will create.”

For the HEE to roll out their proposals it would need to be based on the best available evidence, piloted and be subjected to evaluation across the NHS.

However, there are some who perceive the proposal as a guideline for the curriculum. Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of nursing at HEE, suggests that this new role will support registered nurses and employers.

Whether this will lead to confusion or not, ultimately the common concern of practicing doctors is accountability when something goes wrong. What is the HEE’s contingency plan?

What are your thoughts on this?

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