Three pharmacy bodies in Scotland have come together to produce a joint statement urging that improved use of the profession should be among the recommendations of the National Primary Care Out of Hours Review launched by the Scottish Government earlier this year.
For the first time, Community Pharmacy Scotland (contractor body), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland (professional body) and the Directors of Pharmacy (senior pharmacy leaders for NHS Boards) have come together to ensure that the pharmacy profession was speaking with ‘one voice’ to the review. The review is due to report its findings to the Scottish Government in early October.
The collaborating organisations all strongly believe that pharmacy, alongside our healthcare partners in primary care, has a significant role to play in the care and treatment of patients both in and out of hours. The joint statement recommends solutions for the short, medium and long term to support patient care and outcomes, including:
- Greater involvement of the pharmacist in the management of common minor illnesses by utilising PGDs and pharmacist prescribers.
- National promotion of the Minor Ailment Service.
- Universal community pharmacy access to the emergency care summary.
- Exploring pharmacy input into out of hours team
Harry McQuillan, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, said: “All parties agreed that the community pharmacy network could build on what it currently does to support patient care, through further enhancing its role in the context of this review. I would encourage the review to positively consider this joint submission of the pharmacy stakeholder organisations and recommend the pharmacy role be significantly strengthened within the primary care team going forward.”
Gail Caldwell, Chair of the Scottish NHS Director of Pharmacy Group, said: “Pharmacists are already playing an important role in providing support and advice to patients and their families and we welcome opportunities for them to use their knowledge, skills and expertise to support the future development of out-of-hours healthcare across the country.”
Alex MacKinnon, Director for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, said “I am pleased to see the way pharmacy has welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the National Out of Hours Primary Care Review. I believe it was important that the pharmacy profession provided a joined up, collective response, with a set of proposals that build on and further enhance the role that pharmacists play in the care of patients and the public. I hope that pharmacy’s input into the review will be embraced by the Scottish Government and that community pharmacists’ well recognised contribution will be maximised further and appropriately resourced to help alleviate some of the pressures in the NHS.