'Medically qualified' Approved Clinician in charge

Hi all,

Is a non-doctor AC, who is an RMN and a qualified ‘Independent Prescriber’ with a mental health competence considered to be ‘medically qualified’ for the purposes of the MHA?

My confusion comes from references in Jones 25th, 1-790 (s58) and 1-863 (s64) which say that ‘only a medically qualified AC can be ‘in charge’ of the administration of medication to a patient.’

and then

1-1462 (s145) says ‘with regard to medical treatment, an AC, who will not necessarily be the patient’s responsible clinician, can only carry out treatment which she is qualified to give. An independent prescriber who is not a doctor but who is an AC could therefore be the AC in charge of medicines she can prescribe’.



Hi Helen,

If you are an AC and a nurse prescriber, you can oversee any medication you are qualified to prescribe (ie the patient wouldn’t need to see a doctor separately for review of that medication) but you couldn’t oversee medication you AREN’T qualified to prescribe.

In terms of the MHA, being a nurse prescriber wouldn’t mean you were medically qualified in terms of s12 - ie you couldn’t make initial recommendations for detention.

Hope that helps


Helen, you are right to be confused and I apologise. My note to s.145(1) represents the legal position. I will make necessary amendments in the next edition.


Thanks Richard