THE Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland has called for a review of GP and community pharmacy contracts in tandem, to encourage collaboration and improve access as part of its 2016 Manifesto, ‘Right Medicine – better health – fitter future‘, which was launched today ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections in May. The overall aims of the manifesto are about ensuring that everyone in Scotland has access to pharmaceutical care regardless of setting, and that pharmacists skills and knowledge are fully utilised to improve safety and deliver better health outcomes for the public, leading to a more effective NHS.
The manifesto also calls for:
- Implementation of the recommendations for community pharmacy in the recent out of hours report
- All pharmacists to have access to the Emergency Care Summary/Key Information Summary
- Introduction of workforce planning to ensure pharmaceutical care needs of the population are met now and in the future
- New and extended roles which are properly resourced
- An increased number of pharmacy technicians to release pharmacists’ time for patients
- Resourced operational models in the community that reward pharmaceutical care interventions using an outcome and values based approach
- Regular protected learning time for all pharmacists
- Experienced pharmacist independent prescribers to become designated practitioners, allowing them to mentor others through the prescribing course
- A single vocational training programme for newly qualified pharmacists based on workplace assessment across all sectors
- GP practices and emerging community health hubs to have access to patient facing pharmacists
- Pharmacists to be positioned at the point of admission to hospital to improve patient safety through pharmaceutical care
- Establishment of a nationally recognised system of referral and handover between all health professionals
- Decreasing the bureaucratic burden.
Dr John McAnaw, Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “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.
“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% 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.
“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. We are also calling for experienced pharmacist independent prescribers to be allowed to become designated practitioners. This would enable them to mentor/supervise other pharmacists through an independent prescribing course, thus building capacity more easily across the profession.”