Review of NHS Pharmaceutical Care of Patients in the Community in Scotland

Report of an independent review of NHS pharmaceutical care of patients in the community in Scotland, carried out by Dr Hamish Wilson and Professor Nick Barber.

Policy Context

5. Our review was commissioned and has been carried out in the context of Scottish Government policy. The ambition of the 20:20 Vision is that everyone will be able to live longer, healthier lives at home or in a homely setting, within a system of integrated health and social care, a focus on prevention and anticipatory care, and supported self management. And care will be delivered to the highest standards of quality and safety, with the person at the centre of all decisions. These three quality ambitions and the six quality outcomes described in the Healthcare Quality Strategy are fundamental to an effective system of pharmaceutical care.

6. In 2002, The Right Medicine set the agenda for modernising and strengthening the role of pharmacists to deliver improved services to the public and patients. It outlined ways in which improvements could be made to the public's health, to the access to and quality of care, and to the workforce and infrastructure support. This led to significant developments in community based pharmaceutical care, and in the role of pharmacists and pharmacies across Scotland. The current SNP administration's manifesto contains a commitment "to further enhance the role of pharmacists, building on the introduction of the Chronic Medication Service, and encourage even closer joint working between GPs, pharmacists and other community services …", building on what has already been achieved.

7. The recent consultation on proposals for better integration of adult health and social care4 , changing the way in which the NHS and Local Authorities work together and in partnership with the third and independent sectors, leading to a more seamless experience from the perspective of the service user and carer, adds a further dimension to the importance of pharmaceutical care in the community and the therapeutic partnerships needed to underpin that5 .

8. Over recent years, there has been a growing number of targeted initiatives related to the use of medicines, for example in the areas of decision support, reconciliation, administration, review and support. Medicines have also featured strongly in the patient safety, efficiency and productivity and e-health programmes. We welcome the recent impetus towards a more integrated and multi-professional approach to these initiatives; this is essential if we are to secure the most benefit for patients, harness the skills of all the professionals involved, and secure best value in the use of medicines. We recognise the financial pressures which face the NHS in Scotland, and consider that what we propose for the future of pharmaceutical care will have a direct and positive impact.


Email: Elaine Muirhead

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