We are hugely grateful to all the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across Scotland who contributed to this vision by participating in focus groups, and sharing their views through surveys, emails, phone calls and meetings.

We are also grateful to the pharmacy and non-pharmacy stakeholders who met with us through the consultation period and commented on numerous drafts. This vision was shaped by every single person who was involved: it could not have been created without them, and this final version belongs to them all.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scotland
National Pharmacy Technician Group Scotland 
January 2022

Strategic links

To make this vision relevant to the strategic direction of travel in Scotland, documents produced by Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and other stakeholders were referenced. The section below highlights some key quotes from some of these documents:

Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care

“The evolving focus of pharmacy practice to ensure that people have an understanding of what to expect from their medication requires an acknowledgement that people and their carers rightly wish to be active partners in treatment options."

“Pharmacy resource can be targeted through a triage model, focusing on high risk and complex cases.”

“Hospital discharge can be a difficult time to support people with adherence to new medication regimens. There is a role for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in supporting this transition by taking on a greater part in managing care prior to and during discharge.”

Scottish Government. Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care: a strategy for Scotland, August 2017.
Available at:

Scotland’s National Clinical Strategy

“The contribution of pharmacists can be considerably enhanced, with their expertise in ensuring that people with complex medication regimes have their care optimised, and the potential for side effects or harmful interactions reduced."

Health care teams should “provide care that is person centred rather than condition focused.”

NHS services must “collect and use more information on outcomes, especially those that matter most to patients, rather than clinical data such as biochemical or other surrogate markers”.

Scottish Government. Recover, restore, renew. Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Annual Report 2020-2021.
Available at:

“While medicines can bring great benefit, they can also cause significant harm. Older people tend to experience worse side effects or consequences of treatment. That is why we should strive to actively manage risk associated with polypharmacy by regularly reviewing and rationalising our patient’s medications.”

“Serious harm can result if we don’t listen to the people we care for, and if they are not given the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their care.”

“NHS Scotland is a significant contributor to the climate emergency. It emits a large amount of greenhouse gasses, consumes huge amounts of resources and produces copious amounts of waste. We have a moral obligation to help tackle the greatest threat to human health by reducing our impact on the environment. Responsibility rests with us all.”

The ALLIANCE’s report on Health and Wellbeing priorities for the future

Care should be “flexible, person-centred which recognises the holistic nature of individuals” and that “being involved in the decision-making process and treated as an expert in their own life circumstances and care” is of the utmost importance to people.

“For many people the innovative and accelerated implementation of virtual services improved access, made it quicker and supported more choices for the individual. People have welcomed the use of this technology, and its wider implementation and use should continue.”

The ALLIANCE. Health, Wellbeing and the COVID-19 pandemic: Scottish Experiences and Priorities for the Future. February 2021.
Available at: Available at:

The NHS Scotland recovery plan 2021-26

“We will design services so that we minimise unnecessary travel and increase the focus on ‘net-zero’ approaches.”

“We will continue to support the move to more health care being provided in the community and closer to home.”

We will design a new sustainable system, focused on reducing inequality and improving health and wellbeing outcomes, and sustainable communities."

“We will develop and introduce a new pharmacy woman’s health and wellbeing service through our public health services.”

“We will also establish a community pharmacy hospital discharge and medicines reconciliation service to help speed up the process for people being discharged from hospital.”

“We are investing in developing new digital solutions such as ePrescribing and eDispensing to make the prescribing process paperless.”

Scottish Government. NHS recovery plan 2021-26.
Available at:

Scottish Polypharmacy Guidance

“With up to 11% of unplanned hospital admissions being attributable to harm from medicines and over 70% of these being due to elderly patients on multiple medicines, there are significant opportunities to reduce this burden by timely and effective interventions.”

Scottish Government. Polypharmacy Guidance: Realistic Prescribing, 3rd edition, 2018.
Available at: