The Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB) gathered for its summer meeting at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Edinburgh headquarters on 4 July 2018. Guests at the meeting were Christopher John, head of workforce development at the RPS and Carolyn Chai, a student at the University of Strathclyde. Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, joined by video link. Apologies were received from board members Kathleen Cowle and Johnathan Laird.
At the board’s working day, held on 3 July 2018, John McAnaw was reaffirmed as chair, and will hold the position for one year. Jonathan Burton was reaffirmed as vice chair, and board member Ewan Black was appointed to represent the SPB on the RPS Assembly, alongside McAnaw who by dint of his position as chair automatically sits on the Assembly.
Alex MacKinnon, director for Scotland at the RPS, said that an employee mentoring programme had been created with a staff database and that the Society was in the process of matching mentors and mentees across the organisation. A refreshed mentoring service for members will also be introduced in the final quarter of 2018. MacKinnon added that RPS Scotland also planned to liaise with Simon Redman, director for finance, in the new corporate social responsibility programme and identify opportunities to work in the local community.
In terms of political influence, MacKinnon noted that written evidence had been submitted to Scottish Labour’s NHS and Social Care Workforce Commission, and that Aileen Bryson, practice and policy lead for RPS Scotland, had given verbal evidence in the Scottish Parliament on 2 July 2018. RPS Scotland had also led work on the Society’s policy statement recommending that cannabis be placed under Schedule 2 in Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. The RPS science team supported this work and the policy was submitted to the government immediately following its announcement of a review into rescheduling the drug.
RPS Scotland was continuing to push for protected learning time for pharmacists, the board heard. MacKinnon asked board members interested in forming a small volunteer group, to develop models as to how that could be achieved, to make their interest known to Carolyn Rattray, business manager at RPS Scotland.
Policy and consultations
Aileen Bryson led the Society’s response to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)’s consultation on education and training standards for pharmacist prescribers, which was submitted in June 2018. The Society will respond to another GPhC consultation, on developing the approach to regulating registered pharmacies in August 2018. Two further GPhC consultations — the draft Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Hospitals and Other Pharmacy Services) Order 2018 and the draft Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2018 – will be responded to before 11 September 2018.
A refreshed policy statement on e-cigarettes is planned, which will be developed with Christine Bond, chair of the science and research board and the RPS science team. Bryson also said that the RPS will create a Falsifed Medicines Directive webhub, to signpost to information about the directive.
Annamarie McGregor, practice development lead at RPS Scotland, said that 37 events had been held across Scotland between 26 October 2017 and 20 June 2018, with a mean of 29 attendees per event. MacKinnon said that the 14 revalidation events had been particularly popular. A discussion followed on whether events should be open to all or member-only, with general consensus being that a combination of the two would be best. McAnaw said that he agreed member-only events were needed, but open events — with an attendance fee for non-members — were important to showcase the Society and encourage people to join. Multidisciplinary events would not incur an attendance fee.
Access to records
MacKinnon said that the issue of access to patient records, a key part of RPS Scotland’s manifesto, was still under discussion and that this should be raised as a priority with Jeane Freeman, the new Scottish health secretary. MacKinnon also said that the matter was on the agenda for his upcoming meeting with Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer. Jonathan Burton asked if there was potential for a research day, including patient groups, on the subject. Both MacKinnon and Burton pointed out that access had been piloted across Scotland, and questioned when the outcomes from these would be brought together into a body of evidence. Several board members said that evidence from Wales and England could be added to the case presented to policymakers.
MacKinnon said that RPS staff had now visited all venues booked for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) congress, to be held in Glasgow on 2–6 September 2018. Booking numbers were looking good, he added, and four pharmacies had been made available for visits.
- The date of the next Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting was set for 26 September 2018.