The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Scotland has called on political parties to pledge support for pharmacy to enable the profession to deliver high quality, safe and effective care to Scotland’s citizens.

The call was made within RPS Scotland’s manifesto for the Scottish Parliament election in 2021. The manifesto includes calls for read and write access to patients records for all pharmacists, protected time for learning and development, and funding for seven day clinical pharmacy services in hospitals.

Clare Morrison, RPS director for Scotland, said: “We’ve listened to our members, the profession and other pharmacy organisations and have put together a list of asks for political parties that we believe will help deliver a quality pharmacy service. Pharmacy is at the very forefront of healthcare in Scotland.

“It is vital that pharmacy gets the support it needs to enable pharmacy teams to provide the people of Scotland access to expert medicine and health care advice where and when they need it.”

The eight asks in the manifesto are:

  • Ensure that IT systems across health and social care are interoperable with one another
  • Ensure time for learning and development is available for all pharmacists across all sectors to support workforce development and ensure pharmacists can deliver services safely
  • Enable read and write access to a full and integrated electronic patient record for pharmacists in all care settings
  • Ensure that all pharmacy teams providing NHS services, including in the community pharmacy setting, are recognised and valued as key workers
  • Involve pharmacists and their teams in identifying and delivering solutions for reducing health inequalities
  • Promote and invest in the pharmacy profession as an attractive career choice
  • Promote and enhance the role of pharmacy teams in primary care vaccination and immunisation services
  • Fully fund and resource pharmacy to provide 7-day clinical services to meet the needs of patients and support the multidisciplinary team in hospitals 

Chair of the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board, Jonathan Burton, a community pharmacist in Stirling, added: “A number of our asks call for improvements to the infrastructure for pharmacists and their teams, but there is also a focus on enabling pharmacists to contribute their skills to improving the health of our people.

“There are many examples of pharmacy teams providing services that address health inequalities, for example, and we would like to see more involvement of pharmacists in setting health policy alongside support to enable these services to continue and be disseminated in other communities, where they would be beneficial. Pharmacy has a lot to offer and we would like to see the Scottish Government embrace and utilise our expertise more.”

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