Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Physiotherapists get the right to prescribe medicines in the UK

Breaking news!

British Physiotherapists are to gain the power, apparently, to give prescriptions to their patients. This will not come into affect until 2014. Personally, I trust my Physio way more than a lot of my Doctors and most of the GP's I've ever met - but she's very special, she got into Med school - and is unlike any other Physio, Chiropractor, Osteopath I have ever met. And I've met a lot. She is councillor, friend, advisor all in one. When I first met her I could only walk about ten minutes before some part of me spasmed, I wasn't sleeping or eating properly, I had Medication Over-Use Headache (MOH) and basically was in a total mess. She was the first person, after seeing countless posh Neurologists, specialist Consultants at spine clinics and Inner Ear Doctors who not only helped with my Migraine Associated Vertigo but got my migraines under control and allowed me to come off the SEVEN pills I was taking daily. I can say, without any exaggeration, that with out her I'd be in a wheel chair (a Doctor told me this so this isn't my usual over dramatic flourish!)

It's not unusual for her to send me to GP's and specialist Consultants to ask for certain medications (and they usually agree with her recommendations.) She often can tell me more about the side effects of the medications I'm on than the Dr's who have prescribed them -  so I can completely see where this new ruling is coming from. I'll describe, in more detail, how I work with this wonder woman in another post.


Finding a good Physio is like finding a golden ticket in a Willy Wonka Chocolate bar. They are very few and far between. My Physio advised me that you should generally look for someone who trained in a teaching hospital (obviously I'm biased towards the London ones) is in their 40's (as apparently the training has changed and is now much more basic) and should be able to explain, completely, all of your symptoms - you would be surprised how many can not comprehensively do this! If you're not better in three months - move on. Sadly, even these simple check marks are no guarantee of good care.

So, I will be interested to read more about this and look forward to hearing your opinions too. I've got no idea if prescriptions will be issued through the NHS or just privately. I'm assuming NHS?

Read more here:

Relevant Past Posts:


  1. This is very interesting...I've visited both good and very good physiotherapists and some who were most unhelpful. However the best one of I've seen so far, and who gave me so much help with my backpain prob, is Mark who practices at my local National Health Hospital. I came away with so much confidence and well being. I would trust him completely in prescribing medication.

  2. I think this is a good idea. To be honest all I use my GP for is to get my prescription after I've found out exactly what drug I need (normally from the National Migraine Centre, which I know is slightly different than talking about giving the right to physiotherapists but still),so it does always seem a bit like a waste of an appointment going to see them. The GP I saw yesterday looked about 12 and though she was very nice, admitted she knew very little about Topamax. Now I know we can't expect GPs to know details about every drug so then this makes even more sense to give prescribing power to the physiotherapists so they can prescribe drugs in their field that they know all about and thus giving the patients all the relevant information. This does beg the question though, what would GPs actually be doing in the future?

    1. Very true. I've seen locum GP's who didn't even know what Topamax was which was a bit un-nerving but then a new GP at my local practise gave me some really good advice about dosing so... will be interesting to see how this goes and if it leads to a slippery slope. Who will be next?


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