An Investigation into Non-medical Prescribing within Oncology

  • Sophie E.H. Farmer

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Pharmacy


There is currently limited published evidence exploring aspects of oncology Non-Medical Prescribing (NMP) practice. To explore the opinions and recommendations of NMPs on oncology NMP practice, two focus groups were held with pharmacist and nurse NMPs (one per professional group). Participants were asked to discuss aspects of their current NMP practice including collaboration and post-qualifying training.

The opinions and recommendations of medical prescribers and senior managers on NMP practice within oncology were explored using a focus group for consultant oncologists and a semi-structured interview (SSI) for a registrar. Medical prescribers were asked to discuss aspects of current NMP practice including collaboration and training. Three organisational senior managers were then interviewed to explore the themes previously identified from medical prescriber data.

The NMP training theme was then explored within two further studies. The experiences, opinions and recommendations of multi-professional NMPs on post-qualifying NMP training were explored within separate one-to-one SSIs (three nurse, three pharmacist and three radiographer NMPs). NMP participants were asked to discuss aspects of NMP training such as current NMP training received, further training and support requirements.

Within the final study, the opinions and recommendations of consultant oncologists on post-qualifying NMP training were explored using an electronic survey. Participants were asked questions around key themes previously identified within the previous study, such as competence, support, experience related to training requirements and training methods.

This research programme explored aspects of NMP practice identified by stakeholders involved in oncology NMP practice. Key findings included the nurse prescriber ‘dual’ role, appropriate placement of NMPs in practice, and lack of time and funding for NMP development. The need for NMP organisational governance strategies were suggested and a draft NMP post-qualifying training matrix related to experience. Recommendations included implementation of lead NMP roles, a stakeholder NMP support network and an organisation-led NMP training programme.

Date of AwardAug 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDavid Terry (Supervisor) & Chris Langley (Supervisor)


  • Attitudes of healthcare personnel
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacist
  • Prescribing
  • Radiology
  • Training

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