Within our hospice we have a team of four senior nurses working as Non-Medical Prescribers (NMP). The role was being developed prior to the pandemic, however, was initiated during lockdown when some of the medical team were shielding. With the doctors now fully available the aim is still to bridge the gaps in medical cover such as extended hours over the weekends and to facilitate annual leave/training or cover sickness.
We also work to support the nursing team for training, medication queries and as a mediator for discussions with the medical team, where needed. We work to assist with discharge planning, external referrals, gathering information and equipment loans. We work to support all areas of the hospice as part of the multi-disciplinary team including adult inpatient unit, wellbeing centre, out-of-hours advice line, accepting referrals at weekends and palliative care support workers.
Moving forward the hope is to expand the nurse-led clinics that are supported by the NMP role. We currently run a ‘Looking forward’ clinic for patients with liver disease and plan to offer similar clinics for cardiac and respiratory diseases. As we are able to open up our services further we plan to reinstate access to the Wellbeing Centre for patient assessments such as complex symptom management and discharge follow ups.
As advanced practitioners we have an awareness of our own limitations, and each of us has our own experience and expertise from previous roles, which brings value to the team as a whole. It is still a developing role and we are one of the few hospices to have a NMP team in post. With good communication, a broad skill mix, regular sharing of opinions and ongoing education this helps us to be an effective service for supporting all areas of the hospice.
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