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Introduce pharmacy work plan, RPS Scotland director warns SNP conference

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Introduce pharmacy work plan, RPS Scotland director warns SNP conference

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s director for Scotland Claire Morrison has warned the Scottish government that it must produce a workforce plan for pharmacy if the profession is to fulfil its potential through a host of recently introduced initiatives.

Speaking at the Scottish National Party conference in Aberdeen, Ms Morrison told cabinet secretary for health and social care Humza Yousaf that services such as NHS Scotland's Pharmacy First, Pharmacy First Plus and the pharmacotherapy service had been introduced as part of the government’s winter resilience plan without a commitment to ensuring the recruitment and retention of pharmacists.

“We know there are shortages of pharmacists across every sector of pharmacy, hospital, community and general practice. We need the Scottish Government to undertake workforce planning for pharmacy in the way it does for doctors and nurses," she said during the conference, which was attended by representatives from other health professions.

Ms Morrison said rest breaks, “flexible working and portfolio careers” and protected learning time would help retain the current workforce. 

She suggested ways of improving the efficiency of pharmacy work output such as better sharing of patient data, quicker introduction of electronic prescribing and dispensing, automation and robotics, and a more effective use of skill mix. 

She welcomed Mr Yousaf’s commitment to ensuring health professionals have protected learning time. In a statement that followed the conference, RPS Scotland said it will write to him to ask for a meeting to discuss how that can be achieved as well as the results of its workforce wellbeing survey which are expected to be published shortly.

 

Picture: Andrew Perry, Holyrood Events

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