Helping members make the most of the opportunities for clinical work presented by the Scottish government’s Prescription for Excellence (PfE) programme will form a key part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Scotland’s plans for 2015, according to its director Alex MacKinnon.
MacKinnon described PfE as a “massive opportunity” for the profession and said 2015 would be an “extremely important” year for pharmacists in Scotland as the government proceeds with this agenda.
He spoke to The Pharmaceutical Journal after members of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the RPS approved its 2015 business plan, which sets out activities and targets for the year.
The PfE programme, published in September 2013, aims to develop the clinical role of pharmacists in Scotland over the next 10 years to provide enhanced care for patients.
RPS Scotland’s plans for 2015 include launching a “comprehensive” public campaign highlighting the role of the pharmacist in the NHS, and raising awareness of pharmacy’s proposed new clinical functions under PfE. The Society will also campaign for more resources for pharmacists to develop these roles, and ask members about which key issues should inform the RPS manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections.
MacKinnon said: “2015 is extremely important for pharmacists across Great Britain but particularly in Scotland as we work to enable the profession to maximise the opportunities that the Scottish Government has presented us with in terms of a vision and an action plan for PfE, which has the vision of establishing pharmacists as independent prescribers.
“It’s a massive opportunity for the profession and we will have a leadership role in trying to help lead the way in terms of supporting the government and all stakeholders to engage with this action plan, and position pharmacists as equal health professionals within the healthcare team.”
The Scottish Pharmacy Board Business Plan 2015, approved at a meeting of the board on Wednesday 21 January 2015, sets out how the organisation plans to represent and act on behalf of its members this year.
Among its planned activities around the PfE agenda, RPS Scotland says it aims to influence the national steering and reference groups on the programme, as well as meet with the Scottish government’s new cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing to champion pharmacy’s cause.
RPS Scotland will “develop and deliver a programme of events that will help members engage in and maximise the opportunities contained within PfE, especially around independent prescribing but also activities inclusive of non-prescribers”, the business plan states.
The Society also plans to hold a joint seminar on PfE with NHS Education for Scotland, as well as a national seminar to “encourage intra-professional working”. The RPS and Community Pharmacy Scotland will also advocate for, or hold an event about, the developing clinical role for pharmacists.
Among its other ambitions for the year, RPS Scotland is set to hold a series of events to promote the revised RPS hospital standards and RPS quality standards, as well as run a joint RPS and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) event on chronic pain. The two organisations will also work together on a project about minor illness triage, “to improve the triage process for common clinical conditions between community pharmacy and GPs”.
RPS Scotland plans to measure statistically the awareness of the role of pharmacists among the public and patients. It will establish a baseline of public awareness and target year-on-year growth in 2016.
The business plan also includes events for pharmacy students and pre-registration pharmacists, and at least six foundation framework ‘early years’ events for young pharmacists.