Earlier this week, RPS in Scotland gave evidence to the Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament, after submitting a written response
to their inquiry into community hubs. Practice and Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson gave evidence at the first part of the session while Scottish Pharmacy Board Member Elaine Thomson took part in the second part of the meeting.
Our submission highlighted the importance of integrating pharmacists into the multidisciplinary health and social care team, to provide the pharmaceutical care which will be increasingly important as demographics become more challenging in future, with people living longer with long term conditions.
We stressed the need to utilise the current three year funding and new pharmacist posts as an ideal opportunity to evaluate the new ways of working with a view to adopting the models of care most beneficial to patients.
We also expressed our belief that going forward we must ensure that we use all available resources and new services are developed in community pharmacies. This will help improve access to treatment and relieve pressure on both in and out of hours GP and A&E appointments, with pharmacists who work in community pharmacies further enabled to work with GPs and other health and social care colleagues to improve care of patients.
RPS in Scotland was invited alongside representatives from RCGP in Scotland, RCN in Scotland and the Allied Health Professions.
Despite the variety of backgrounds around the table, there were similar themes emerging around the need to have a clear vision of the role of pharmacists in hubs, to increase collaborative working, and to have pragmatic indicators of progress along the way with a clear understanding that each profession has much to contribute to patient care in their own unique way. More details can be found in the official report
of the meeting.
Aileen Bryson, Practice & Policy Lead at RPS in Scotland, said: “It was heartening to hear the same sentiments on the need for transformational change being expressed by representatives of so many professions and even more so to see a recognition that pharmaceutical care and the pharmacists’ expertise were valued as part of the wider primary care team. Working alongside our GP and other health and social care colleagues there is so much opportunity to improve patient outcomes and minimise avoidable harm from medicines.
“All the professions contribute to improving patient care in their own unique way and patients will benefit from improved access to services. We were united in our quest for improved referral systems between health and social care professionals and the need for one single patient health record to allow sharing of information to improve patient safety – recommendations we highlighted on our Scottish Parliamentary manifesto Right Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future
Watch the full recording of the meeting below.