Numark is pleased to see that the Scottish Conservative Party recognises the valuable service that community pharmacy currently provides and the roles that the profession could adopt in the future to support the delivery of a sustainable NHS.
Numark wholly supports pharmacists having access to medical records, however, to implement this effectively we believe that this should be read-write access rather than read-only. This will facilitate communication between community pharmacy and other healthcare professions supporting the development of an integrated healthcare service.
Pharmacist prescribing and medication review will ensure community pharmacy is able to treat minor ailments in the community without the need to refer patients to their GP whilst also being able to manage the treatment of patients with long-term conditions. These roles will enable pharmacists to more fully utilise their clinical training allowing pharmacy to be an active rather than passive member of the primary care team.
We consider that the provision of a 24-hour service, whilst valuable to patients and the NHS, should only be introduced where it will not compromise the delivery of the existing core service. Delivery of this form of service will require cautious and careful planning to ensure its long-term success.
Pharmacy is an underutilised resource and these plans will benefit the profession and the NHS, however, to ensure the longevity of the service an effective funding model will need to support the proposed changes.