Skip to main content

Healthcare Sciences lecturer is Wales' first physiotherapist independent prescriber

24 September 2014

Physiotherapist injecting patient
Physiotherapy in Cardiff is consistently ranked first in the UK

Healthcare Sciences' Gary Morris is the first practicing physiotherapist to be registered as an independent prescriber in Wales.

An Associate Lecturer from the UK's top ranked course for physiotherapy, Gary is the first practicing physiotherapist in Wales to be given the green light to prescribe medicines to patients without the need for a doctors countersignature.

Ushered in by changes to the Human Medicine's Regulation, the Welsh Assembly has published new legislation that will mean quicker access for Welsh patients to the necessary drugs needed to treat their

Gary Morris works as an Associate Lecturer in Cardiff University's School of Healthcare Sciences and is an advanced physiotherapy practitioner in neurological rehabilitation for Hywel Dda University Health Board. He completed his independent prescribing conversion training in June this year, and will today be the first physiotherapist in Wales registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an independent prescriber.

"Many people with long term conditions require a combination of medicines and physical management to best meet their needs," says Gary."For example, botox injections and antispasmodic medication combined
with physiotherapy for spasms resulting from neurological conditions, or analgesia and exercise in chronic pain. Independent prescribing puts physiotherapists in a unique position to meet these needs and support people to
be more independent, have better control of their symptoms and ultimately have a better quality of life."

A spinal tumour left 24-year-old Kayleigh Daviesin a wheelchair, forcing her to put her degree in Social Work on hold. After an operation to remove the tumour, Kayleigh continues to receive physiotherapy treatment as an outpatient in Gary's clinic, based in Carmarthen.Speaking of her treatment, she said:

"While I was having physiotherapy I developed spasms in one of my legs which meant I couldn't progress with my rehab. One of the physiotherapists in the team was able to treat this with botox injections to stop the spasms but I
had to wait to see a consultant before they could start the treatment.

"After having the treatment I was able to continue my physiotherapy and am now able to walk short distances with crutches and have since been able to return to university. With the changes in the law I won't have to wait to see a
consultant if I need the treatment again, which is great. It's also great that other people in a similar position to me won't have to wait to see a doctor if they need this treatment in the future."

Physiotherapists and podiatrists from the UK will be the first in the world to be able to practice in this way, which will reduce referrals to GP services and free up consultant capacity, saving time and money.

The right to prescribe was legalised for physiotherapists practising in England in September 2013 and was hailed by the then Health Minister, Norman Lamb, as a "huge milestone in the long battle for recognition of physiotherapists' skills".

Physiotherapists in Wales can apply for funding for independent prescribing training from the Workforce, Education and Development Service (WEDS), which works on behalf of NHS Wales, the Welsh government and education providers.

Share this story