Pharmacists have a key role in prevention of type 2 diabetes RPS in Scotland tells Health & Sport Committee

Building on the RPS in Scotland’s ongoing engagement with the Scottish Parliament’s Health & Sport Committee in relation to its inquiry into the prevention agenda, we have been invited to provide evidence on the role of the pharmacist in prevention of type 2 diabetes.

In our response, to which we had expert input into from the Diabetes Special Interest Group and the Specialist Pharmacists in Public Health, we have outlined the key role pharmacists play in preventing type 2 diabetes. In addition, we have also highlighted some key areas pharmacists could be further enabled to do more, namely:

  • Increased implementation of screening programmes to identify individuals at high risk and referral to weight management and exercise services which are tailored to individual’s needs.
  • Greater use of community pharmacies to better reach hard to reach groups such as the most deprived and those of particular high-risk ethnic groups should be incorporated into any healthy lifestyle interventions.
  • The potential for social prescribing of physical activity, which is currently being monitored and evaluated in one health and social care partnership. Using co-production between link workers and volunteers it provides peer support and motivation in the community. It is targeted at various groups, including those with type 2 diabetes or at high risk of developing the disease.

Aileen Bryson, Practice & Policy Lead, said: “All pharmacists have a role to play in prevention of diabetes.  Community pharmacists are ideally placed to reach “hard to reach” groups due to their location within local communities to review patients’ medications and provide healthy lifestyle advice to support prevention and the development of diabetes.”

Alison Cockburn, one of our members specialising in cardiovascular risk reduction in diabetes will be giving evidence at the committee session in Parliament on 19 December.

Aileen continued: “We are delighted to be working with the committee and with our members in this way.  In our original submission we highlighted that diabetes was a key area for prevention. We believe it is absolutely crucial that the MSPs now hear the evidence from our frontline practitioners and we are committed to continue to support our members to ensure they can engage directly with the committee.”

For more information in relation to this piece of work see also our response to the Prevention Agenda Inquiry.