A Lead Nurse at Royal Star & Garter has become the first member of staff in the charity’s care homes to qualify as a non-medical prescriber.
Yuriy Bukovych, who works from the Solihull Home, officially qualified on Tuesday 7 July after completing the six-month V300 non-medical prescriber course. He will begin prescribing once official registration and paperwork is completed.
The charity, which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, covered the cost of Yuriy’s course, and plans to have a non-medical prescriber in each of its three Homes.
Residents currently face a longer process for their medication, as a prescription has to be written by a visiting GP or advanced nurse practitioner, and then processed. This can take more than 24 hours. The ability to prescribe in-house means the award-winning Home is able to provide a rapid on-site response to residents’ health needs and concerns, who will be able to obtain their medication within hours. It also brings further wider-reaching benefits of 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 Tudor Coppice Home since 2011, said: “It was a tough course, really labour-intensive. It’s very intense and in-depth and one of the toughest qualifications I’ve faced. But you don’t get permission to grant prescriptions lightly!”
Explaining the benefits it will bring, the 44-year-old continued: “This will remove a lot of the bureaucracy involved in obtaining something which could be as simple as paracetamol. The time frame for delivering medication is significantly shorter, and the sooner you start medication, the better results you get.”
And he praised Royal Star & Garter’s foresight, and the trust it invests in its staff: “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 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, and that’s really important, because if you’re not you stand still or fall behind.”
Solihull Home Manager Cheryl Harbourne said it was good news for Yuriy and the Home. She said: “I’m delighted that Yuriy’s hard work and dedication has paid off. It’s good news for him, and because it will increase the speed at which their treatment can begin, it is good news for our residents and the Home too.”
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. Policy Director Liz Jones said: “It is fantastic to see that one of our members, Royal Star & Garter, are announcing their very first qualified nurse prescriber who has now completed the V300 non-medical prescribing training. As a long-established veterans’ care charity with a passion for innovation, this is their first step in having nurse 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. Often the barrier to enabling more nurses prescribing in social care are the costs and time to access the required training, so the dedicated support from Royal Star & Garter has been key to enabling this.”
Pauline Shaw, Director of Care at the Royal Star & Garter, congratulated Yuriy, and said: “The benefits of having a non-medical prescriber in the 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, and I look forward to seeing them in High Wycombe and Surbiton too.”
Royal Star & Garter also has staff in its Solihull and High Wycombe Homes studying Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs) courses. The charity has played a key part in the roll-out of the pioneering course by providing placements to Nursing Associate trainees from its Surbiton Home since the pilot began in 2017.