Improving the role and integration of pharmacy across NHS Scotland is the focus of a new document published by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government has published 9 commitments and identified 29 actions which ” focus on integrating and enhancing the role of pharmacy across all areas of pharmacy practice, increasing capacity, and offering the best person-centred care” in Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care: A Strategy for Scotland
Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP has welcomed the action plan.
Maree Todd said:
“I particularly welcome the focus on close communication between pharmacists and GPs and the commitment to find a way to share records safely.”
Two main priorities are identified:
- Improving NHS Pharmaceutical Care
- Enabling NHS Pharmaceutical Care Transformation.
Maree Todd told The Orkney News:
““Pharmacists have a lot to offer in encouraging patients to get the best out of their medicines and reducing harm and waste.”
“Medicines play a key role in healthy living and pharmacists are experts at using medicines.”
“Pharmacists are traditionally seen as suppliers of medication, and this paper is another step towards fully using their expertise in choosing the right medicine in the first place.”
“Through the minor ailment scheme and the chronic medication scheme, pharmacists can ensure good care and relieve pressure on GPs and A&E in departments.”
The proposals seek to strengthen the role of community pharmacy and to “target resources to expand the number of community pharmacists undertaking independent prescribing and advanced clinical skills training.”
Other key improvements would be :
- to ensure that every GP practice in Scotland will have access to pharmacists with advanced clinical skills
- an improvement to accessing pharmacies during the weekend
- an improvement in the use of medicines in care homes
- improving access in rural and isolated communities
- introducing a Postgraduate Career Framework for pharmacy in Scotland which will include a consultant pharmacist role.
- improving the use of data and sharing of records
- supporting the safer use of medicines
NHS Education for Scotland is developing and delivering a comprehensive education and training programme for Pharmacy. Professor Anne Watson, Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean said:
“We need to equip pharmacists to deliver high quality clinical care in all settings, through independent prescribing and advanced clinical skills. We will be developing our learning pathway for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in general practice, and implementing clinically-focused training programmes for newly qualified pharmacists working in all sectors.”
The document sets out the Scottish Government’s plan to improve and strengthen the integration and role of pharmacy over the next 5 years with the intention that by 2021 every GP in Scotland will have access to a pharmacist with advanced clinical skills.
Chair of Community Pharmacy Scotland, Martin Green said:
“Community Pharmacy Scotland welcomes the release of ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care’ and is delighted to see that our core clinical services and skills will be developed and promoted over the next five years.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame