Achieving excellence in pharmaceutical care: a strategy for Scotland

Strategy aiming to transform the role of pharmacy across all areas of pharmacy practice, increase capacity, and offer the best person-centred care.

1. Foreword

Rose Marie Parr
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
Scottish Government

Rose Marie Parr Chief, Pharmaceutical Officer, Scottish Government

Since my appointment as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer in June 2015, one of my key objectives has been to build on the impetus for change in the content, quality and way in which we deliver NHS pharmaceutical care in Scotland.

"Pharmaceutical care focuses the knowledge, responsibilities and skills of the pharmacist on the provision of drug therapy with the goal of achieving definite therapeutic outcomes toward patient health and quality of life. [1] "

The pharmacy team in NHS Scotland is an important part of the workforce with specialist skills and much needed expertise in medicines. We need to work together with the wider multidisciplinary health and social care team, to ensure that this specialist knowledge in medicines is utilised to best effect for the health and well-being of the people of Scotland.

Following engagement with a range of stakeholders over the last two years, and refreshing the Prescription for Excellence [2] document, published in 2013, the purpose of this strategy is to present a revitalised focus on the priorities that will make improvements happen.

These priorities fall into two key areas:

1. Improving NHS pharmaceutical care

  • Improvements to NHS pharmaceutical care services across Scotland
  • Delivering safer use of medicines for the people of Scotland

2. Enabling NHS pharmaceutical care transformation

  • Ensuring capability and capacity by further developing the pharmacy workforce
  • Developing a digitally enabled infrastructure
  • Planning and delivery requirements for sustainable NHS pharmaceutical care services

To support these priorities we have established a set of nine commitments and complementary actions. These are focused on achieving excellence in improving and integrating the provision of NHS pharmaceutical care in order to support people through their healthcare journey. We have used colour to distinguish between the two priorities: Priority 1 is in blue and Priority 2 is in pink.

Our vision is for pharmacy as an integral and enhanced part of a modern NHS in Scotland

These priorities for the future of NHS pharmaceutical care that are set out in this strategy, integrated within a modern digitally-enabled health and social care system in Scotland, have the potential to open up new and rewarding career pathways for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in increasingly clinical roles. I am though mindful that the demands of professional practice, with its uncertainty, instability, uniqueness and value conflicts [3] will bring about many future challenges and demands for individuals within the pharmacy profession.

Therefore, I will also ensure that there is a continued focus going forward on supporting the professional pharmacy practitioner, recognising the often difficult judgments and personal commitments required. This can be achieved in part through education, developing clinical capability and competence, and enabling leadership development and professionalism.

Finally, the successful delivery of these priorities for change requires a co-ordinated effort across all levels of the service. I will continue to build on the progress we are making at a national level to deliver our vision, however, it also needs to align with local priorities and delivery. In order to ensure we achieve this I will work with and through leaders at NHS Board and HSCP levels, in particular NHS Scotland Directors of Pharmacy and service planners, in order to drive improvement.

It is my ambition to place people at the centre of what we propose and build a collaborative partnership when taking forward the vision of Achieving Excellence in the delivery of NHS pharmaceutical care, both at an individual level and in the communities we serve.

Rose Marie Parr,
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Deputy Director,
Pharmacy and Medicines Division, Scottish Government


Email: David Jamieson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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