Title Therapeutics in Respiratory and Sleep Physiology Practice
Type Stage One
Code HPS124
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

Medicines legislation does not currently allow Clinical Scientists to prescribe as either supplementary or independent prescribers. However, there are situations where medicines can be given by another professional following the directions of a prescriber referred to as patient specific directions. Provider organisations should have arrangements in place which enable these legal requirements to be implemented. This therapeutics module is included in this HSST curriculum to provide the underpinning knowledge and understanding of a range of therapeutics utilised within Respiratory and Sleep Physiology Practice to support Clinical Scientists in HSST to work with other clinicians and healthcare professionals within the multi professional team.


By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST, in respect to respiratory and sleep disorders, will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge of appropriate respiratory-specific therapeutic interventions relevant to clinical practice including non-medication-based therapeutic and preventative interventions (e.g. pulmonary rehabilitation within scope of practice) of Consultant Clinical Scientist.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will analyse, synthesise, evaluate and critically apply their expert knowledge with respect to: 

  • the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and dosages of commonly used respiratory drugs.
  • the range of adverse reactions to commonly used drugs, including complementary medicines.
  • the drugs requiring therapeutic monitoring and be able to interpret results.
  • the use of medications appropriate for use in pregnancy, and during breast feeding.
  • tools used to promote patient safety in prescribing, including electronic clinical record systems and other IT systems.
  • the effects of age, body size, organ dysfunction and concurrent illness on drug distribution and metabolism relevant to the Clinical Scientist in HSSTs practice.
  • the roles of regulatory agencies involved in drug use, monitoring and licensing (e.g. National Institute for Clinical Excellence [NICE], Committee on Safety of Medicines [CSM],Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and hospital formulary committees).

Technical and clinical skills

Although not directly undertaking prescribing of medications, by the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to critically reflect and apply in practice a range of clinical and communication skills to advise and communicate effectively with patients, relevant clinicians, the public and other healthcare professionals and will, within the multiprofessional team:

  • review the continuing need for, effect of, and adverse effects of, long term respiratory medications relevant to the Clinical Scientist in HSST’s clinical practice.
  • recognise and anticipate avoidable defined drug interactions, including with complementary medicines.
  • advise patients (and carers) about important drug interactions and adverse effects.
  • suggest appropriate dose adjustments following therapeutic drug monitoring, or physiological change (e.g. deteriorating respiratory function).
  • employ validated methods to improve patient compliance with prescribed medication.
  • provide comprehensible explanations for the use of drugs to the patient and to carers when relevant; understands the principles of compliance in ensuring that drug regimens are followed.
  • utilise non-medication based therapeutic interventions and preventative interventions (e.g. pulmonary rehabilitation within scope of practice), including the legitimate role of placebos.

Attitudes and behaviours

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to evaluate their own response to both normal and complex situations demonstrating the professional attributes and insights required of a Consultant Clinical Scientist working within the limits of professional competence referring as appropriate to senior staff and will:

  •  recognise the benefit of minimising number of medications and interventions taken by a patient to a level compatible with best care.
  • remain open to advice from other health professionals on medication issues.
  • ensure information is shared promptly and accurately with a patient’s health providers,
  • participate in adverse drug event reporting processes.including between primary and secondary care.
  • remain up to date with therapeutic alerts, and respond appropriately.


Code Title Action
HPS1-3-1-20 Respiratory & Sleep Science (Adult) [v1] View
HPS1-3-2-20 Respiratory & Sleep Science (Paediatric) [v1] View