RPS in Scotland responds to Health & Sport Committee inquiry on hubs

The RPS in Scotland has published its response to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the role of pharmacists working in GP hubs.

We would like to thank all the members who got in touch and shared their views and experiences to shape our response.

Practice and Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson, said: “We believe health and wellbeing will be improved by ensuring workforce plans recognise and use the skills and experience of pharmacists to support patients who take medicines as part of a comprehensive health and social care team approach within people’s own localities.
“Given the central role medicines continue to play in today’s NHS and the shared desire to avoid harm and conserve resources, it is now more important than ever that we look at how we use our available resources and optimise skill mix. Our submission provides further detail on the key areas where pharmacist’s expertise is necessary as a member of the multidisciplinary team (MDT).”
We have made the following key recommendations for committee members to consider:
  • Ensure that we have the right skill mix within the health and social care team for the appropriate provision of care and services for patients and the public closer to home and to relieve pressures on hospitals and A&E departments. This will allow resources to be further focused on longer term prevention in primary care which will be necessary for sustainability in the NHS.
  • Making better use of our limited resources, the best possible patient care will come from pharmacists practicing where they can make the most difference to patient care, and by ensuring that the tasks they undertake are patient-facing specific to their skill set.
  • 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 provide a national strategic approach to holistic person centred care in the primary care setting.
  • Going forward we must also ensure that pharmacists who work in community pharmacies are further enabled to work with GPs and other health and social care colleagues to improve care of patients.

Further to our response, our Scottish Pharmacy Board Member Elaine Thomson and Practice and Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson will give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on 20 September alongside representatives from RCGP in Scotland, RCN in Scotland and the Allied Health Professionals.