The first Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting of 2018 was held on 17 January 2018 at the Society’s Edinburgh offices in Holyrood Park House.
Guests at the meeting were Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Ash Soni, president of the RPS (video link); Robbie Turner, RPS director for England, and Janice Watt and Melinda Cuthbert of National Acute Pharmacy Group Scotland (NAPS).
It was noted that four members of the board were coming to the end of their terms on 2 July 2018 — Anne Boyter, John Cromarty, David Thompson and Elaine Thompson. Following the 2018 elections, newly elected Board members will take office at 00.01 on 3 July 2018.
RPS Local was launched in most areas across Scotland in November 2018, and Annamarie McGregor, practice development lead at RPS Scotland, reported that the rollout was proceeding as planned. Local co-coordinators are still needed in Lanarkshire, Highland and Borders, and the roles will be re-advertised in February.
The annual Todd lecture will, this year, be hosted by RPS Glasgow on 14 March 2018. The lecture will be delivered by Norman Lannigan, a retired NHS chief pharmacist and current visiting professor in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.
The Board committed to the ongoing establishment of RPS local in Scotland, and to the attendance of a Board member at each RPS Local event. The Board also pledged to drive the use of webinars and podcasts to extend the reach of RPS Local to those whom cannot physically attend any given event. Drive to look at developing podcasts and members.
The 2018 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) programme has now been published, and RPS members have received an email offering discounted attendance fees. A meeting of chief pharmacists, chaired by Rose Marie Parr, chief pharmaceutical office for Scotland, is planned for the Friday preceding the conference; 40 chief pharmacists from around the world are expected to attend. No media will be present, but attendees will be tasked with developing outcomes to be shared.
Policy and consultations
Aileen Bryson, practice and policy lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scotland, updated the Board on activity around RPS Scotland policy and consultation responses. Among the activities for the last quarter of 2018, Bryson gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on technology and innovation in health and social care on 31 October 2017. During the session Bryson emphasised that pharmacists’ lack of access to health records put patients at risk, especially during out-of-hours services.
On 19 December 2017, RPS member Alison Cockburn gave evidence to the Health and Sport Committee round-table evidence session considering initiatives for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Cockburn also made the point that lack of access to health records hinders pharmacists’ efforts to support diabetes prevention.
Policy positions and briefings in progress include prescribing, dispensing errors and ‘top tips’ for pharmacists in GP practice, which will take the form of an appendix to the joint statement with the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Revised Hospital Standards and RPS promotion in Scotland
In early January 2018 the RPS published an updated version of Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services. Melinda Cuthbert and Janice Watt of NAPS were part of the revision of the RPS Hospital Standards and revised the terminology to make them more suitable for implementation in Scotland. Cuthbert and Watts added that NAPS see the standards as good practice and will adopt them, although they are yet to discuss how to implement them.
They asked the Board to consider how it could support implementation of the standards across Scotland. Suggestions included a joint NHS Scotland Directors of Pharmacy Group/RPS-visible launch, and RPS Local events in conjunction with local hospitals.
Business Plan 2018
Alex MacKinnon, RPS director for Scotland, shared the 2018 business plan which has been designed to contribute to the delivery of the RPS’s Strategic Objectives 2016–2021.
RPS Scotland will work with colleagues across the nation to support the Society’s revalidation project, and will deliver joint RPS/General Pharmaceutical Council roadshows. Parallel to this will be continuing promotion of the RPS Foundation, Faculty and Mentoring programmes.
Scotland-specific goals include development of a campaign promoting pharmacists’ contribution to healthcare across the sectors, and increasing public support is gained for new pharmacy roles. There will also be an update to the 2012 report ‘Improving the pharmaceutical care of people in care homes’.
There will, MacKinnon said, be a move towards greater use of digital means to support member engagement in 2018.
- The date of the next board meeting was set for Wednesday 25 April 2018.