Season's greetings

2016 has been a busy year in pharmacy and the Scottish Pharmacy Board and the RPS team in Scotland would like to thank all members whose support has been invaluable in enabling us to work on your behalf to push the pharmacy agenda forward and continue to develop the profession.

With something for everyone, our manifesto launched for the Scottish elections, serving as a blueprint for our vision for the profession of the future. Our political advocacy is ongoing whether it is giving evidence at parliamentary committees, engaging at party political conferences, meeting with MSPs in Parliament or through demonstrating pharmacists’ impact through pharmacy visits all over Scotland. A big thank you to all our members who have been part of these.

Our pharmacy quality improvement collaborative roadshows, currently being rolled out in Health Boards, will continue in 2017. Never has it been more important to change the legislation around dispensing errors to align us with other health professionals; to demonstrate to politicians that as a profession we hold patient safety at the heart of our practice; that dispensing errors are rare and that we will improve the recording and learning when they do occur.

This has been a year of collaboration, working with so many organisations to demonstrate to policy makers that we support the transformational changes required in our NHS. We need to get it right for people the first time, ensuring they see the most appropriate healthcare professional for their needs. There are great opportunities for pharmacists to work with their local health and social care colleagues to show how much pharmacists can contribute and how important a role pharmacy plays in improving patient outcomes.

Within the profession, we need to work more collaboratively to maximise our impact and help drive the changes we all want for future practice. Although different sectors might have varying priorities, we are all striving for the same excellence in delivering patient care and increasing the recognition of our unique expertise.

Let 2017 be the year of the pharmacist and let us not be branded by labels such as ‘clinical’, ‘enhanced’, ‘advanced’, ‘generalist’, ‘specialist’, ‘community’, ‘hospital’ or ‘primary care’. We are all pharmacists. As the third largest profession in the NHS, let’s make sure we have one clear voice and let’s work together to make sure it is heard.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year, and I hope that the year ahead lives up to all our expectations.

See you in 2017!

Dr John McAnaw MRPharmS
Chair, Scottish Pharmacy Board

Alex MacKinnon FRPharmS
Director for Scotland