Enhanced role for community pharmacists

Pharmacists empowered to help more patients during COVID-19 outbreak.

Community pharmacists are to perform an enhanced role during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Pharmacists will be able to support more patients, reducing the pressure on other parts of NHS Scotland through the extension of the Minor Ailment Service.

The Scottish Government has also accelerated plans to expand access to Emergency Care Summary (ECS) data, which mainly contains medication information, to pharmacists.

Health Boards have been asked to provide access to this information to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in communities.

More than a thousand community pharmacies provide a range of NHS Pharmaceutical Care services on behalf of the NHS in Scotland.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“The vital work of community pharmacies up and down the country is key in ensuring that we continue to reduce the burden across the NHS, and patients continue to get the necessary medicines they need to stay healthy.

“Many people visit a community pharmacy every day, with these numbers increasing in the current COVID-19 outbreak.

“This makes them the most accessible healthcare professionals on the front line of community health services, and a valuable resource to NHS Scotland.

“Strengthening the role of pharmacists, and easing some of the pressure from frontline NHS services, is therefore an important step in our wide ranging response to the current crisis.”


NHS Inform’s coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.

The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website.

Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
• high temperature or fever
• cough
• shortness of breath

Call NHS 24 (on 111) if you think you have COVID-19 and need help or assistance.

For any other health related concerns, make NHS Inform your first point of contact or call your GP during opening hours. If your GP practice is closed and your query can’t wait you can still call NHS 24 (on 111).


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