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scottish-referendum-pillsSeptember 22 2014

Pharmacy organisations are gearing up to the increased expectations of further devolution of powers, following the Scottish referendum.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society points out that its own structure will continue to reflect the current devolution settlements in Great Britain, and will be working hard to maximise its influence. Numark says it will strengthen its information services support by introducing country specialists for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As health policy is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the RPS has mirrored this by having an elected Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB) since 2010. This has full autonomy to take forward professional matters and set its policy direction on behalf of Scottish Members.

SPB Chair John Cromarty commented: “It is ... worth stating that the proposals for how the UK and its four constituent nations might manage their affairs will create an intense period of unprecedented change within a very tight timetable.

“The SPB seeks assurances from all parties that issues in relation to policies impacting on our healthcare system and pharmacy in Scotland are appropriately considered and consulted upon. Over the coming months the SPB will continue to engage closely with all parties to maximise our influence and will also be developing its manifesto for pharmacy ahead of the Scottish elections in 2016.”

Numark’s director of pharmacy services, Mimi Lau commented: “We will be keeping a close eye on the plans for health to see how further changes, if any, will affect our members and react accordingly.

“Numark has always recognised that there are differences in the four countries and we have the infrastructure to ensure we provide a ‘virtual head office’ to our members - wherever their business is based,” she said.

“With considerable devolved powers, we know that Scotland’s healthcare system and pharmacy in particular operate differently from that in England and Wales. For that reason, Numark has a Scottish Advisory Board that meets regularly and helps us develop business services and professional support that is specifically tailored to our members north of the border.  

“Our man on the ground, Glaswegian Colin Miller, has day to day contact with Scottish pharmacies and he helps us shape our policy. None of that will change following the referendum result.

“What is going to change however, – and this was planned regardless of the outcome of the election – is a change to our Information Services. We are introducing a country specialist for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that we are better able to respond to technical queries that are specific to the devolved countries.”

Numark has 346 members in Scotland which includes many owner-managed businesses as well as groups.

Links:

RPS statement

Numark

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