The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s strategy for pharmaceutical care and services Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care was published in August 2017. We are continuing to implement the actions identified in Achieving Excellence and making progress towards delivering our two key priorities – improving NHS pharmaceutical care and enabling NHS pharmaceutical care transformation. 

NHS Pharmaceutical Services are provided under NHS arrangements with local and high street retail pharmacies. These arrangements are managed by the local NHS Board who is responsible for ensuring the communities it serves has appropriate access to NHS Pharmaceutical Care Services.

Community pharmacy contractors provide a range of NHS services for health boards. There are around 1250 community pharmacies in Scotland. Their core national services include:

  • Minor Ailment Service
  • Public Health Service
  • Acute Medication Service
  • Chronic Medication Service

Community pharmacies can also provide a range of local services on behalf of their local health board to meet the needs of its local population. 

Together all of these services play an important part by:

  • improving healthcare access for the public as they do not need an appointment to see their pharmacist
  • decreasing workload for GP and nursing colleagues therefore freeing up their time to see patients with more serious complaints
  • making best use of the workforce by more fully using the skills of community pharmacists
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