Press Release

Collaboration on health data sharing to improve patient outcomes in Scotland

Scottish Government, MSPs, healthcare professional leadership bodies and healthcare regulators have met to discuss how to improve the sharing of health data to achieve better patient outcomes.

Last month, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland and General Pharmaceutical Council jointly brought together stakeholders from across Scotland to discuss how to make progress on sharing patient data between healthcare professions and settings to ensure continuity, high quality care and patient safety.

The meeting was attended by health professional leadership bodies (including British Medical Association, Royal College of GPs and Royal College of Nursing) health and social care regulators (including General Medical Council and Scottish Social Services Council), Scottish Government and MSPs including Chair of Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Gillian Martin MSP and Jackie Baillie MSP.

Currently, a patient’s health data are not visible to all healthcare professionals who support their care. Following the meeting, four key themes emerged: Culture, Change of language, Collaboration and communication; alongside agreed outcomes and next steps. 

  • Supporting a culture shift within the general population to understand that health and care services are now entering a digital age, and to establish confidence in the purpose, process and principle of data sharing.
  • Agreeing the language to use, to move from a “single shared record” to “data sharing” and encouraging organisations to use it.
  • Exploring ways to collaborate to support a cultural shift around digital awareness and the change of language.
  • Scottish Government and NES Technology Service to communicate more about the progress being made including key milestones and timescales for delivery.

These themes are published on 9 November, in this statementjust as Scottish Government’s Care in the Digital Age Delivery Plan is launched.

Following the round table, Clare Morrison, Director for Scotland at Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said:

“I was delighted to co-host this round table which was a hugely important step on our journey to improving access to patient data.

Sharing health data between health professionals and settings is absolutely critical to providing high quality, person centred and safe patient care. This is a key enabler in RPS Scotland’s vision for the future of pharmacy, Pharmacy 2030.

“Collaboration on this between Scottish Government, politicians, healthcare professional bodies and regulators will be really important to achieve both our technical and cultural goals, and so I was really pleased everyone was able to participate, and I look forward to further partnership working on this.”

Laura Fulton, Director for Scotland, at the General Pharmaceutical Council agreed with Clare and also added:

“Bringing key stakeholders together to discuss the digital agenda, in particular data sharing to improve patient outcomes, whilst identifying some key themes and next steps was important.  Ensuring that person centred care, is realised through digital communication and collaboration will be fundamental. 

I look forward to taking our agreed actions forward together and moreover ensure patient safety is prioritised as a result.

“Thanks to all those who attended both in person and virtually.”


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