A Lead Nurse and a Lead Physiotherapist at Royal Star & Garter have become the first members of staff in the charity’s care homes to qualify as non-medical prescribers.
Yuriy Bukovych and Maddie Venkatesh qualified in July after completing their non-medical prescriber courses. The charity, which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, covered the cost.
The ability to prescribe in-house means the Homes are able to provide a rapid on-site response to residents’ health needs, obtaining their medication within hours. It also brings wider-reaching benefits by reducing the workload and burden on GPs.
The National Care Forum (NCF) praised “the dedicated support from Royal Star & Garter”, saying the investment in its staff would lead to improved care for its residents.
Yuriy, who has worked at the Solihull Home since 2011, said: “It was a tough course but you don’t get permission to grant prescriptions lightly! I’m proud to receive this qualification, and I’m grateful that the charity has paid for this. It’s nice to work for a charity that’s interested in developing you. The charity and Home Manager Cheryl Harbourne recognised the delays with the current system, and wanted to improve the care we provide. Royal Star & Garter is forward thinking.”
Maddie commented on her achievement: “It was tricky to fit study hours in while working full time as I had to work around the GP hours. But it’s all worth it in the end. It’s very useful to have an independent prescriber in a care home as it increases the convenience and speed with which residents receive their medicines.”
Royal Star & Garter is a member of the NCF, which represents the not-for-profit social care sector, and has been calling for non-medical prescribers in care homes. NCF Policy Director Liz Jones said: “It is fantastic to see Royal Star & Garter are announcing their very first qualified non-medical prescribers. As a long established veterans’ care charity with a passion for innovation, this is their first step in having prescribers in all of their care home settings, all of whom will have been supported with the cost and time needed to achieve this expertise.”
Pauline Shaw, Director of Care at Royal Star & Garter, congratulated Maddie and Yuriy, and said: “The benefits of having non-medical prescribers in a care home setting is clear to see. Not only do residents benefit from speedier access to medication, but it cuts out red tape and eases the pressure on prescribers, such as GPs. It is our intention to have non-medical prescribers in all of our Homes.”