§ Mr. Malins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends publishing the report of the advisory group on nurse prescribing; and when he intends to implement it.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
As we have made clear on many occasions, we support the idea of prescribing by certain community nursing staff. Various issues need to be sorted out before a scheme can be introduced. The advisory group on nurse prescribing was set up last year to look at these issues, and the group has now submitted its report. We welcome the report, which is being published today and are grateful to the advisory group for its excellent work.
The group's major recommendation is that nurses with a district nurse or health visitor qualification should be allowed to prescribe items necessary for the care of those conditions for which they take independent clinical responsibility.
The report will be sent to interested bodies for their comments. In the meantime, officials are carrying forward work on some of the outstanding issues. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library.