Improving access to care

Achieving equity of access to pharmacy services

Before 2030, all pharmacy teams will proactively offer services in a way that delivers equity of access. They will identify vulnerable patients who need specific support and adapt services for them.

A service of particular importance in improving access to care is the NHS Scotland Pharmacy First service: the public’s first port of call for common clinical conditions. By 2030, the vast majority of community pharmacists will be independent prescribers, enabling the Pharmacy First service to be further developed, and it will also be extended into populations who cannot currently access it.

By 2030, pharmacy services will be planned alongside wider NHS clinical service provision to ensure equitable access to pharmacy services is achieved across the 7-day period. This does not mean that a full pharmacy service is needed in all settings 24/7 but that patients requiring immediate care, particularly in hospital and out of hours services, are not disadvantaged by the day of the week or time they access services.

More generally, access will be improved by enabling services in the way patients want. Pharmacy teams will routinely offer patients a choice of remote consulting, asynchronous consultations and other digital services, as well as in-person care. Similarly, medicines supply will be offered by in-pharmacy collection, delivery services and remote collection, but in all cases, patients will have an opportunity to consult with a member of the pharmacy team, including a pharmacist, every time a medicine is supplied.