In response to a Scottish government consultation, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has called for continued investment to develop community pharmacy teams and create additional capacity in existing services.
The consultation examines different ways patients access healthcare services in Scotland and focuses on sources of healthcare other than GPs that exist in the community.
The inquiry was discussed with NPA policy leads across the UK, NPA Scottish members and other Scottish pharmacy stakeholder organizations.
The NPA stated that services delivered during the pandemic has proven the importance of Scotland’s 1,258 community pharmacies, and believes additional capacity for existing pharmacy services, and expansion of pharmacy Public Health Services is possible with continued investment from the government.
Besides capacity building, investment should facilitate development of community pharmacy teams including pharmacists, independent prescribers, pharmacy technicians and support staff.
It added that national and area pharmacy committees should be engaged for development of national community pharmacy services in close collaboration with the network of community pharmacy owners.
Phil Galt, NPA board member for Scotland said: “The community pharmacy profession has gone above and beyond its remit to help the country out of Covid. We welcome the chance to provide services for the public but each service development has to be considered for pharmacy team workforce capacity and skills, patient safety factors and professional indemnity risks.
“NHS Boards should, in association with local representative bodies, consider the impact of the creation of new roles on all health care providers in the area and also nationally, and on their ability to deliver their objectives on behalf of the NHS. A local impact assessment should be carried out prior to any recruitment into primary or secondary pharmaceutical care sites.”