23/06/2015 - RPS in Scotland welcomes pharmacists working in GP practices




The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland has published its position statement on pharmacists working in GP practices. This statement was discussed and agreed at the recent meeting of the Scottish Pharmacy Board on 17 June 2015 and follows consultation with and input from members and the specialist primary care and prescribing advisor groups.


Our driving principle is that all patients should have access to pharmaceutical care. Equally we believe that GP practices, including dispensing practices, should have access to the expertise of a pharmacist. The pharmacist should be patient facing in their role first and foremost, and included in both the decisions and governance of practice prescribing to improve patient care. We therefore fully support more pharmacists working in GP practices as part of the multidisciplinary primary care team as one of the models to strengthen patient care and collaboration, recognising the need for flexibility to accommodate different local situations, including specific remote and rural issues. Pharmacist input could be sessional or full time and could be achieved with both generalist and specialist input using primary, community or secondary care pharmacists working in/with the practice, according to local needs.

Dr John McAnaw MRPharmS, Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board, said: "We believe this is one of the steps to help integrate pharmacists into the wider primary care team. The Scottish Prescription for Excellence vision and action plan outlines a clear focus on collaborative working with other health professions but there is also a particular focus on working better across our own profession. Alongside this initiative there is an opportunity for us to look at how we strengthen partnership working between GP practice and community pharmacy colleagues. Our patients have always been promised continuity of pharmaceutical care, and the wider introduction of patient-facing GP practice pharmacists can be the springboard to further developing this at the local level."

Speaking from a community pharmacy perspective, Jonathan Burton MRPharmS MFRPSII, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board, said: "The Society in Scotland has responded positively to the increased focus and opportunities for pharmacists working in patient facing roles within GP practices. Such arrangements will undoubtedly increase the capacity of pharmacy as a profession to positively influence patient care. However, we also believe that as part of the solution it is absolutely crucial to recognise and further encourage the outstanding contribution the nation's network of community pharmacists make to patient care in local communities. "

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