To evaluate the prescribing decisions of community matrons using a validated tool and answer the question: is community matron independent nurse prescribing as safe and effective as that of GPs in terms of clinical appropriateness and cost effectiveness?Method
A mixed-methods, non-experimental cross-sectional retrospective study of the prescribing decisions of all community matrons at a trust using the medication appropriateness index. A total of 75 prescriptions were analysed and qualitative data were obtained through five consultations. Correlations between prescribing activity and demographic data of community matrons were also analysed.Findings
The matrons were prescribing appropriately and compared favourably to the published data on GP prescribing. No correlations between inappropriate prescribing and the individual community matron's demographic data were found.Conclusion
Community matrons were prescribing safely and effectively in the majority of cases.
Independent prescribing is a relatively new development in nursing. Melanie Hart reports on research into its safety and effectiveness