Welsh community pharmacists gaining access to GP record is great news – but it is time for Scotland to catch up

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland (RPS) welcomes the announcement made today at the RPS in Wales Medicines Safety Conference by Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething AM, that access to the Welsh GP record will be piloted from 11 December 2017 and rolled-out across the whole pharmacy network in March 2018.

We strongly believe that by enabling community pharmacists to access the GP record, people will receive better, safer and more accessible care.

A commitment was made in the previous e-health strategy in Scotland that community pharmacists would have access to the emergency care summary by 2014, but this commitment has yet to be delivered.

There has been a growing acknowledgment that sharing of information is essential for safer patient care across the wider primary care team (and indeed with secondary care). We have therefore worked collaboratively with all the professions involved in primary care, setting out our principles for information sharing.

Alex MacKinnon, Director for the RPS in Scotland, said: “This is great news for patients and community pharmacists in Wales. In England, community pharmacists have had access to the summary care record since 2015. It is clear Scotland is now lagging behind.

“Patients expect healthcare professionals to have the information at hand to enable them to provide the best and safest care and to ensure that the patient journey is seamless across services.

“I would encourage the Scottish Government to ensure this now takes highest priority to fully enable the transformation of our primary care services.”