The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland says the health and well-being of patients will be improved by “ensuring workforce plans recognise and use the skills and experience of pharmacists to support patients who take medicines within their own localities.” The statement came in response to the Scottish Parliament’s health and sport committee’s inquiry into the role of pharmacists working in GP hubs.
The RPS urges the committee to consider several factors to help reduce pressure in hospitals. It recommends that there is the right skill mix within the health and social care team to allow resources to be focused on longer term prevention in primary care; to ensure pharmacists are placed in areas of primary care to make the most difference; to utilise the current three-year funding and new pharmacist posts as an opportunity to evaluate new ways of working; and to ensure that community pharmacists are enabled to work with GPs and other healthcare professionals to improve the care of patients.
“Given the central role medicines continue to play in today’s NHS and the shared desire to avoid harm and conserve resources, it is now more important than ever that we look at how we use our available resources and optimise skill mix,” says Aileen Bryson, practice and policy lead at RPS Scotland. “Our submission provides further detail on the key areas where pharmacist’s expertise is necessary as a member of the multidisciplinary team.”
The main areas detailed by the RPS include pharmacists’ role in care homes, caring for patients with long term conditions, conducting medication reviews, delivering end of life care, and educating and training social care staff involved in medicines administration.
In addition to this response, Bryson and Scottish Pharmacy Board member Elaine Thomson will be giving evidence to the committee on 20 September 2016 alongside representatives from the Royal College of GPs in Scotland, the Royal College of Nurses in Scotland and the Allied Health Professionals.