The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB)’s final meeting of 2016 was held on 28 September at Holyrood Park House in Edinburgh.
The main messages from the day centred on RPS Scotland’s work with the Scottish government since the launch of its manifesto, ‘Right medicine, better health, fitter future’, in January 2016.
The SPB reflected on its recent appearance at a meeting of the health and sport committee, where Aileen Bryson, RPS Scotland practice and policy lead, and Elaine Thomson, a member of the SPB, attended to give evidence on behalf of pharmacy. The meeting, which is available to watch on the RPS website, featured a number of pharmacy-related questions enabling Thomson and Bryson to disseminate some strong messages on behalf of the profession.
The board has been working with other healthcare professions through a number of projects over the past year. An interprofessional roundtable discussion, organised by the RPS and Holyrood Magazine and hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons, was successful in helping to promote the role of the pharmacist in the NHS and influence key stakeholders. At the event, held on 31 August 2016, participants discussed the need for improved information sharing and clinical handovers to ensure that the patient journey is a continuous and informed one.
On 13 October 2016, RPS Scotland released a joint statement with the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) concerning the evolving role of pharmacists in GP surgeries and there are two further joint statements planned with the RCGP on the topics of information sharing and care homes.
The SPB also discussed the upcoming RPS Scotland Quality Improvement roadshows, which form part of a commitment made with the Department of Health and Scottish government to raise awareness of the work being done around dispensing error legislation. The events will take RPS Scotland staff and board all over Scotland, including the Western Isles and Shetland, and will be framed within the broader NHS Scotland commitment to drive improvement of the quality and safety of care.
The roadshows will involve collaboration between RPS Scotland and the Scottish government, NHS Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Community Pharmacy Scotland, Yellow Card Centre Scotland and The Alliance.
Looking ahead, the board also discussed an upcoming parliamentary event in December 2016, where talks will centre on the topic of personalised medicine. The SPB is working with the RPS Pharmaceutical Science Expert Advisory Panel to incorporate the RPS’s commitment to its science agenda. Then, in early 2017, the board will host a stand in parliament for a week sponsored by Maree Todd, a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician (and the SNP’s first pharmacist MP).
Finalising plans for 2017, the SPB highlighted its upcoming national joint seminar, which will be held on 30 September 2017 and 1 October 2017 at the Stirling Court Hotel. The board decided that the national seminar should happen on a biennial basis. Two suggestions for seminar themes so far include: ‘the role of the pharmacist’, to address the lack of understanding among patients, the public and other healthcare professionals about what pharmacists can do; and ‘cradle to grave’, to track the differing healthcare needs of a patient throughout their lives.
The next SPB meeting will be held on 18 January 2017.
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