The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB) is calling for pharmacists to be empowered to write in people’s medical records, in a move to help improve continuity of care and join-up primary healthcare services.
The recommendation is included in a new interim white paper, which calls for a national strategy for self care to realise the potential of pharmacists and highlight clear benefits to improving patient care. Empowering pharmacists to better support people to self care would provide a lifeline to the NHS in terms of saving time and money on already overstretched GP services, the PAGB maintains.
John Smith, Chief Executive of PAGB comments: “We believe that empowering pharmacists with write access to patient records would help pharmacies to work in collaboration with other NHS services. It would also help to reduce unnecessary demand, by supporting people to self care for self-treatable conditions, with confidence that any advice or medication offered by the pharmacist would be recorded. Adopting this model would mirror developments in Singapore and Austria, where people are already benefitting from pharmacy being more fully integrated with other parts of the healthcare system.
“Many people are unaware of the services community pharmacies offer and the expertise of pharmacists, who are able to provide advice and guidance on over-the-counter medicines and treatments. With recent prescribing restrictions for over-the-counter products, it is vital NHS England puts policies like this in place that will give people confidence to consider community pharmacies as the first port of call for advice and treatments for self-treatable conditions.”
The PAGB recommendations are set out in ‘A long-term vision for self care: interim white paper’, which has been developed to inform discussions on the new NHS long-term plan and recommends policies that will unlock the potential of self care.