Limited Prescribing Rights

On February 26th 2015 the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy had a meeting to discuss pushing forward with the need for our profession to be able to use their full skill mix.

Attending were

  • Amit Bose - Department of Health lead on prescribing
  • Barry Cockcroft - CDO of England - now being represented by Serbjit Kaur
  • Helen Minnery - President-elect BSDHT

By teleconference

  • Rebecca Blessing - lead on non- medical prescribing and general prescribing policies

At this meeting, Mr Cockcroft said that a chance comment when meeting with Helen Harriot, Chief Allied Health Professions office team resulted in Helen mentioning the possibility of HMR12 (Human Medicines Regulation 2012) exemption. This would be a process of applying to be exempt from part of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, in particular part 12 and part 17.

Podiatrists/chiropodists had utilised this exemption in order to provide LA without a prescription, which worked well for them until they were successful in their bid for limited prescribing rights.

We should be able to use this for LA, fluoride varnish and high fluoride containing toothpastes. At present we would need to ensure that there is clarity in who may buy these POMs so that those amongst us that have independent practices will not be restricted.

If we were looking at a wider phase of limited prescribing rights nothing more could happen until after the election. This would mean pursuing a change in legislation which is far more complicated, time consuming and costly but BSDHT think it is also the ideal. With limited prescribing rights we would be able to utilise our skill set to its full extent.

By applying for exemption we are possibly looking at a time frame of 10-12 months because this would not need to change legislation.

We are still in discussions with the department of health about this and will continue to keep you informed as it moves forward.

Editors Notes



01788 575050


The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.

BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.

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