Press Release

Pharmacist access to records is the key to even better patient care

Ahead of World Pharmacist Day (Wednesday 25 September 2019), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to give all pharmacists read and write access to patient records.

Chair of the RPS in Scotland, Jonathan Burton MBE, said: “World Pharmacists Day is an opportunity to celebrate the vital role of pharmacists at the forefront of healthcare.  Pharmacists across Scotland are already providing high-quality patient care, but the service could be even better if all pharmacists had access to the patient record.

“I am fortunate that in my community pharmacy, because I operate an extended 'common conditions' NHS walk-in service, I have access to Emergency Care Summary (ECS) records. With patient consent I can view basic medicines histories and allergies information. This helps to ensure that the care I provide is safe and effective. Recently I checked a patient's ECS when helping them manage an antibiotic related side effect. This patient was visiting the area, it was outside GP practice hours and I was able to ascertain the exact nature of her recent treatments.”

Most community pharmacists do not enjoy any access to even this basic information, despite performing an increasing role in providing NHS services both in and out of hours.

Mr Burton continued: “It's vital we have the right level of access to appropriate records to enable us to practice safely and effectively as part of the wider NHS healthcare team. 

It’s time the Scottish Government enabled all pharmacists to access patient health records so that, with patient consent and in appropriate circumstances, they have all the information they require to provide the safest and highest quality of care for patients in a timely and accessible manner.’’

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