Minister for Housing & Welfare and MSP Candidate see benefits of pharmacy

The Minister for Housing & Welfare, Margaret Burgess MSP, and Ruth Maguire, Irvine West Councillor and SNP Candidate for Cunninghame South, visited Townhead Pharmacy in Kilwinning on Friday 11 March to discuss pharmacy services and their impact on patient care.
Sam Falconer, Pharmacy Manager, Allan Wilson, Ayrshire & Arran Health Board’s Community Pharmacy Advisor – North Ayrshire, and Susanne Cameron-Nielsen, RPS in Scotland’s Head of External Relations, as well as the pharmacy team, welcomed the visitors and outlined the services delivered in the community.
The points raised in the recently published RPS in Scotland manifesto “Right Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future” were also discussed, including:
  • The findings from our recent members’ survey indicating workforce pressures but also a clear desire for providing more patient-facing care.
  • The need to ensure pharmacists have access to up-to-date information to support person-centred, safe and effective care by providing access to the Emergency Care Summary/Key Information Summary for all pharmacists as a first step; moving toward a single patient electronic health record which, with patient consent, could be accessed appropriately by registered professionals working in an integrated health and social care landscape.
  • Implementing the recommendations on the future contribution of community pharmacy as proposed in “Pulling together: Transforming urgent care for the people of Scotland”, including remodelling the Minor Ailment Service, and raising public awareness with a view to making pharmacy the first point of call for everyone for common clinical conditions to ease pressures on the NHS in Scotland.
Margaret Burgess MSP said: “It was good to hear about pharmacy services and how pharmacists can make a real difference to local people’s health. The professionals, including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, are eager to highlight the essential role pharmacists play in the safer use of medicines. It is important to make full use of their clinical knowledge of medicines and how these interact with one another.
“The pharmacists' role is a unique one within the health services and when fully utilised can improve patient safety and deliver better health outcomes. And all of this can result in a more effective NHS to the benefit of all of us!”
Pharmacy Manager, Sam Falconer, said: “I am really pleased that the Minister and the Councillor and local MSP Candidate took time out of their undoubtedly hectic schedule to hear more about what pharmacists currently do and how our roles could change in the future to further improve patient care.”
Community Pharmacy Advisor, Allan Wilson, said: “As Health and Social Care integration moves forward it is so crucial that, where there are medicines involved, the public, patients and fellow health and social care professionals have access to the pharmacist’s expertise in medicines and medicines use. I would encourage all candidates to support the principles in the “Right Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future” manifesto.”
In the run-up to the Scottish Parliament elections on 5 May 2016, the RPS in Scotland is highlighting the essential role pharmacists play in the safer use of medicines with a full engagement programme with MSPs and candidates via both pharmacy visits and meetings at party conferences. You can get involved in your local area by getting in touch with Susanne Cameron-Nielsen on [email protected].


To keep updated on progress please see #pharmacysp16 on Twitter.