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.

5. Next Steps

A summary of the key commitments and actions which will form the basis of our programme work going forward are detailed at the end of the strategy.

We are fully committed to realising our vision and the commitments and associated actions outlined in this strategy. We have identified the following components which will be key factors required to underpin the implementation of our commitments and actions:

Supporting the work programme

We will evolve existing established groups and, where appropriate, establish specific short-life task and finish groups to advise on the design, testing and implementation of our programme of work and ensure it aligns with other Ministerial and service priorities. In addition, the ePharmacy Programme Board will continue to provide direction for the technology support required to underpin the community pharmacy contractual arrangements. It will also host the work programme for the Evaluation of Automated Technology ( EAT) pilots. The Integrated Digital Safer Medicines Programme which sits under the Digital Safer Medicines Group aims to improve the capture, management, sharing and use of medicines-related information across all care settings with a core focus on HEPMA. We are also contributing to the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan to ensure pharmacy workforce issues are addressed as part of the wider national workforce planning iterative process.

Communications and engagement

In order to ensure that there is genuine public and service user involvement we will commission the Valuing Medicines Group, which is made up of key stakeholders with a shared interest in medicines and NHS pharmaceutical care provision, to identify opportunities to co-ordinate public and professional participation. This will ensure that, in delivering our commitments as described, we continue to focus on the importance of solutions that are person-centred and add value to the pharmaceutical care pathway. By using a range of health and social care evidence, professional consultation and the recent Citizens' Panel survey results we will create a range of activities to share knowledge, embed improvements and engage with key stakeholders, including services users and the public.

Research, evaluation and monitoring

Evidence from robust research is an essential part of future decision making. As we take forward this programme of work we will work in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including the two Scottish Schools of Pharmacy, to monitor and evaluate our work programme. This has already commenced with three research commissions:

  • Pharmacists in GP practices: Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences ( SIPBS) and the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University ( RGU) have been commissioned by NES to undertake an evaluation of the pharmacists in GP practices work programme. This is due to report in 2018.
  • Evaluation of Automated Technology ( EAT): the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at Strathclyde Business School has been commissioned to evaluate the EAT pilots in community pharmacy. This is due to report in 2019.
  • Inverclyde extended MAS evaluation: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde are undertaking a local evaluation which will include quantitative and qualitative analysis. This is due to report in 2018.


We will be consulting on a new framework for pharmaceutical care and any legislative changes that will be required to modernise planning and contractual arrangements.

Supporting delivery

A great deal of what is proposed in this document builds on existing Scottish Government policy and strategy. We will ensure that we align with the appropriate existing programmes of work to maximise the synergies from co-designing the pharmaceutical care contribution.

There are a number of commitments linked to service redesign and improvement, most notably in hospital pharmacy, care homes and care at home. In order to take these forward we will invest in a number of Pharmacy Clinical Fellowships which will provide a unique opportunity to spend 12-18 months working with the Scottish Government Pharmacy and Medicines Division and in partnership with the service and other stakeholders to develop service redesign frameworks in these areas as well as develop their individual personal skills in leadership, management, strategy and project management. We will also explore the role of Pharmacy Clinical Mentors to support aspects of workforce development, such as the Foundation programme and the longitudinal clerkship initiatives.

Human factors and ergonomics ( HF/E) is about 'understanding the interactions between people and all the other elements within a system and design in light of this understanding'. [16] The ultimate aim of HF/E is to optimise both human well-being and overall system performance. NHS Scotland has to appreciate the potential that utilising HF/E principles and methodologies can provide to increase the pace and scale of patient safety and quality improvement efforts. There are a number of areas within this document which could benefit from the application of HF/E expertise to drive and expand upon improvements in pharmaceutical care. We will explore secondment opportunities to draw on HF/E expertise to take forward shorter term pieces of work.

Finally, we will harness the expertise and enthusiasm of pharmacists and others who have completed the Scottish Patient Safety Programme Improvement Fellowship. These Improvement Fellows can help build our clinical leadership capacity and improvement capability and assist us to achieve our visions for excellence in pharmaceutical care throughout the NHS in Scotland.

"We will ensure that we align the commitments and actions set out in this strategy with the appropriate existing programmes of work to maximise the synergies from co-designing the pharmaceutical care contribution."


Email: David Jamieson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top