RPS in Scotland makes recommendations to improve palliative care

The RPS in Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee inquiry in palliative care: “We need to talk about Palliative Care”.

Our response has been informed by expert views and experiences from RPS members ranging from specialists in palliative care, specialist prescribers working in other therapeutic areas where palliative care is sometimes required, such as cardiovascular, respiratory and renal units, to members working in the community as generalists with a special interest in palliative care in primary care.

Our submission provides further detail and background regarding current issues affecting palliative care and patient experience and makes four key recommendations for committee members to consider:
  • Read and write access to health records should be available with the patient’s consent to all those involved in their care to ensure continuity of care, patient safety and timely access to medicines.
  • Multidisciplinary education and training is required for prescribers to ensure they are familiar with Home Office requirements for controlled drug prescriptions to avoid unnecessary delays in patients accessing their medicines.
  • New models of care need to be explored to allow community pharmacists to work to the top of their licence, as part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team to provide a more holistic package of care.
  • There should be alignment of one GP practice, one community pharmacy and one care home to improve pharmaceutical care in care homes, which are increasingly required to deliver palliative care.

RPS in Scotland Practice & Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson MRPharmS, said: “We want the Health and Sport Committee to have a clear understanding of the important role pharmacists play in palliative care, and to recognise the potential to use their clinical skills to contribute more to patient care. Pharmacists from all sectors of the profession strive to provide the best pharmaceutical care possible, however there are some challenges that needs to be addressed, particularly around controlled drugs, and these are highlighted in our evidence submission.“