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RPS Scotland manifesto calls for greater use of pharmacists

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland launched its manifesto today, which focuses on recognising pharmacists’ expertise in the use of medicines and calls for greater use of pharmacists to deliver better patient care and a more effective NHS.

Launched ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May, 'Right Medicine - Better Health - Fitter Future' calls for:

  • Integration of pharmacists into emerging health hubs
  • Pharmacists at the point of admission to hospital
  • A dedicated pharmacist role in care homes and alignment of one community pharmacy and one GP practice to each care home
  • Implementing the recommendations in the recent out-of-hours report on the future contribution of community pharmacy.

Scottish Pharmacy Board members and staff, president Ash Soni, CEO Helen Gordon and director for Wales Mair Davies, pictured with the manifesto at its launch

Dr John McAnaw, Chair of the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board, said: “I think the numbers we report here for Scotland speak for themselves. Scotland needs to fully utilise the expertise of pharmacists to ensure people get the best out of their medicines. We are proposing some key initiatives that we believe will make a real difference to patient care, both in supporting patient self-management and in reducing the risk of adverse events from medicines.

“Pharmacists work hard every day to support the public and patients and we believe they should be freed up to do what they do best – using their expertise in medicines use for the benefit of patients. We were surprised to find that more than a third of respondents to our survey spent the equivalent of more than a full working day on administrative tasks each week – time that could have been spent on direct patient-facing care. Similarly we were concerned that more than 10 per cent were spending more than eight hours a week outside of their working hours on administrative tasks. We are therefore calling for more support in the technical and administrative aspects of the pharmacy workload to help maximise pharmacists’ clinical role in the NHS.

“The challenges facing the NHS as we move forward mean that it is vital we empower all health professionals to practice to the top of their licence now. That is why we are calling for protected learning time for all pharmacists and a single integrated vocational training programme for all newly qualified pharmacists, similar to the junior doctor rotational model which is based on workplace assessment opportunities across all sectors."




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