RPS Scotland Director welcomes Scottish Government pharmacy strategy

Scotland’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr Rose Marie Parr, has today launched the Scottish Government’s refreshed pharmacy strategy “Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care”.

As the professional leadership body representing all sectors of the profession, we are pleased to see that the strategy focusses on an integrated approach to pharmacy practice across primary and secondary care. It is also encouraging to see recognition of the importance of pharmacists, and the wider pharmacy team, as part of the multidisciplinary team and to see the commitment to build an evidence base for future service development and delivery.

Alex MacKinnon, Director for Scotland, said: “I am delighted to see the strategy launched today and to see many of our RPS in Scotland Manifesto 2016 asks included. Based on members’ feedback these included:  

  • Recognition that pharmacists’ expertise across the NHS is required to ensure the safer use of medicines.

  • Potential expansion of the minor ailment service to the whole population.

  • Importance of pharmacy technicians in freeing up pharmacist time for clinical care.

  • Electronic prescribing for pharmacist prescribers.

  • Access to health records.

  • Improved health literacy.

  • Workforce planning.

“In addition, our Long Term Conditions (LTCs) policy called for pharmacists to have a much greater role in the managing and monitoring of people with LTCs. I am pleased to see this aspiration reflected in the strategy for all sectors of the profession.”

The RPS in Scotland recognises that there will be challenges that need addressed within proposed expansion initiatives, such as seven day working in hospital pharmacies. These initiatives may require extra resourcing in order not to be detrimental to patient care. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, fellow health professionals and other partners to ensure that the ambitions outlined in the strategy can be achieved right across the profession, with the ultimate aim of improving patient outcomes and delivering excellence in pharmaceutical care.

The Scottish Pharmacy Board will consider the new strategy in detail, including how the RPS in Scotland can support its members. The Board’s full response will be published in due course.