RPSiSNovember 11 2015

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland has called for greater use to be made of pharmaceutical input into public health measures in the community.

It has also pointed out that despite its calls in 2012 that the statutory requirement for a pharmacist to be included in Community Health Partnerships should be carried over to the new organisations, “this has not been implemented and representation is variable across the country.”

It has flagged up a number of areas where pharmacists’ expertise is necessary, including:

  • clinical governance wherever medicines are used
  • patient safety
  • education and training of social care staff for pharmaceutical care in care homes
  • continuity of care between primary and secondary settings including discharge planning
  • anticipatory and end of life care
  • ensuring cost effective and evidence based use of NHS resources.

The RPSiS was responding to a request from the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee for views on preventive measures to tackle deep-seated social problems.

The Christie Report on the Future Delivery of Public Services in Scotland, published in June 2011. “concluded that Scotland’s public services are in need of urgent and sustained reform and that a radical change in the design and delivery of public services is necessary to tackle deep-rooted social problems,” said the Finance Committee.

“One of the Commission’s key recommendations was the need to prioritise expenditure on public services which prevent negative outcomes from arising.” As part of its scrutiny of the 2016-17 draft budget, the Finance Committee has been monitoring “progress being made in delivering the decisive shift to prevention.”

In its response, the RPSiS points out that pharmacy is the third largest health profession and medicines are the most common intervention in the NHS.

It has also made five key recommendations:

  • there should be ecognition that in the transformation of primary care, there must be pharmacist representation on community planning partnerships and health and social care partnerships.
  • pharmaceutical public health should be an integral part of primary care using analysis of available data which allows interventions to be targeted at areas of highest need as part of a focused health and social care integrated approach.
  • Pharmaceutical Service Care Plans need to be improved and become recognised working documents to identify gaps in services.
  • there should be one single patient health record where all essential information is stored and all registered health and social care professionals involved in the patient journey can have appropriate access to the patient health record with the patient or their designated carer’s explicit consent.
  • changes in business models are required, to free up pharmacists’ time to provide the quality pharmaceutical care required to prevent drug related events with increased cross sector working and better communication between both systems and personnel.

Aileen Bryson, RPSiS Practice and Policy Lead, said: “We want the Finance committee to have a clear understanding of the important, yet under-utilised, role that pharmacists play in delivering preventative services.

“Pharmacists’ unique expertise in medicines is integral to helping patients manage long term conditions and make informed decisions about their health, improving patient safety and public health outcomes. The pharmacy team across community, hospital and GP practices must have input into emerging primary care hubs to ensure that their skills are fully utilised to improve the health of people in Scotland.”


RPSiS announcement

RPSiS submission

Scottish Parliament Finance Committee