THE Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland has published Improving care for people with long term conditions, a policy document which outlines how pharmacist-led care of people with long-term conditions could deliver better results for patients, and be more cost-effective for the NHS.
The document provides a number of case studies to highlight examples of where pharmacists can make an impact, and details the changes needed to ensure the profession can fully support people with long-term conditions.
The key recommendations of the document are:
- Pharmacists providing direct patient care should have the opportunity to train to be a prescriber, fully utilising those skills as part of the multidisciplinary approach to managing and supporting people with long-term conditions.
- The patient journey will be made easier by enabling pharmacists to directly refer to appropriate health and social care professionals, improving patient access to care and reducing the number of unnecessary appointments.
- Patients will benefit from further integration of pharmacists into their multidisciplinary team, ensuring support at every stage of their journey, from prevention through to treatment and management of their long-term condition(s).
- All pharmacists directly involved in patient care should have full read and write access to the patient health record, with patient consent, in the interest of high quality, safe and effective patient care.
John McAnaw, Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board commented: “This campaign gives us a great opportunity to further promote the role of the pharmacist in caring for people with long-term conditions, and clearly outlines what is needed to allow further ‘added value’ in the delivery of frontline care.
“Wherever pharmacists are practicing, they should have a greater role and profile in the delivery of care to people with long term conditions, and I look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government and fellow health professions in enabling this to happen.
“With an increasing number of people living with one or multiple long-term condition(s) in Scotland, we already know that the pharmacist’s expertise in the use medicines and in supporting self-management strategies can help people achieve the right outcomes from treatment.
“However, more can be done, and if pharmacists are given the right tools, support and access to the clinical information they need, they will help maximise patient outcomes. I want to see these recommendations being taken forward in Scotland, so that people with long-term conditions benefit further from the knowledge and expertise their pharmacist can offer as part of the wider care team.”