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RPSmanifestoJanuary 27 2016

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has set out the priorities for pharmacy in Scotland ahead of the Scottish parliament elections in May.

The manifesto document, ‘Right Medicines - Better Health - Fitter Future’, includes a number of recommendations including giving community pharmacists electronic access to patient records (with patient consent), and providing greater access to electronic prescribing.

To improve patient services, it calls for:

  • integration of pharmacists into emerging health hubs;
  • positioning of pharmacists at the point of admission to hospital;
  • integrating a dedicated pharmacist role into care homes and aligning 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.

On the front of the document is a pledge it would like candidates to make, saying: “If elected, I will work to support my constituents’ health by ensuring that:

  • everyone in Scotland has access to pharmacists’ expertise in medicines and are able to receive pharmaceutical care regardless of setting
  • pharmacists’ clinical knowledge of medicines use and medicines interactions, unique within the health professions, is fully utilised to improve patient safety and deliver better health outcomes for the public resulting in a more effective NHS.”

It also calls for health literacy to be a core part of the Curriculum for Excellence in schools, so that everyone should gain an understanding of their health and the role medicines play in supporting it from a young age.

Included in the document are a number of facts and figures to drive home the importance of pharmaceutical care, such as:

  • NHS Scotland spends £1.4 billion pounds on medicines each year
  • 20% of adults in Scotland take more than five medicines, rising to 59% in people over 70 years
  • between 5% to 17% of hospital admissions were medicine related, rising to 27% in the older population
  • up to 280 preventable deaths in acute hospitals are due to medicines
  • half of all medicines prescribed are not used as the prescriber intended.

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.

“As the professional body for pharmacists, 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.”

ScotElectionsManifesto

He also called for pharmacists to 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% were spending more than 8 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.”

Dr McAnaw is encouraging RPS members to invite MSPs and candidates to sign the pledge in a live statement via Periscope.

Links:

RPSiS announcement

RPSiS manifesto launch

RPSiS ‘Right Medicines - Better Health - Fitter Future’ manifesto 

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