What is your view on the state of community pharmacy in Scotland?
I think Scottish pharmacy is at an exciting place at the moment. We are integral to Scottish Government plans for primary care, with a commitment to improving access of pharmacy services for all patients and the continued development of services to support pharmacy being the first port of call for patients.
Do you think all community pharmacist should be independent prescribers?
I think all community pharmacists have the potential to become independent prescribers and that this should be supported if IP could benefit patients and/or the NHS in their area.
Are community pharmacies ready to be the first port of call in the NHS?
Definitely. Electronic read and write access to appropriate patient notes and formal referral pathways would support this being recognised across the NHS.
Do you think community pharmacies should deliver NHS flu vaccinations in Scotland?
Absolutely. Many pharmacies have been providing an excellent Flu service for many years, both private and in some regions of Scotland for the NHS.
What is your view on postgraduate education provision and governance for pharmacists engaged in advanced roles in Scotland?
I think we are well catered for in Scotland with NES.
I’m ten years qualified, an independent prescriber and have multi-sectoral experience. Would you advise me to invest in buying a community pharmacy?
Absolutely. Owning a pharmacy gives you the satisfaction that you are making a difference to patients’ health, by developing a skilled team working within an efficient organisation from your premises to provide care and medicines to the local population.
The community pharmacy market seems really stable. Why do you think there are so few ‘start-up’ community pharmacies?
It is important we have the right number of pharmacies in the right places near to patients. I think Scotland has managed that well.
If community pharmacy does start delivering NHS flu vaccinations how do you think our GP colleagues view this change?
How does community pharmacy need to change to survive in Scotland?
I think there is no threat to the survival of Community Pharmacy in Scotland. It is about how best do we plan to thrive for patients, contractors and the NHS
Are you optimistic about the future of pharmacy across the UK?
Yes. Although pharmacy contracts are in very different stages across the UK, there is now a consensus that pharmacy and pharmacists are vital to patient care for medicines.
What’s next for you?
I am looking forward to supporting members through another year of change with the Falsified Medicines Directive and extended Minor Ailment Service on their way and IT solutions for pharmacy becoming mainstream.