Lothian MSP Miles Briggs MSP will today call for Community Pharmacies to become health hubs that will provide a range of services to people in the community. The Scottish Conservatives Pharmacy Plan aims to enhance the capabilities of pharmacies and give them a greater role in primary health. The expansion of services offered by pharmacists, means that pressure can in many cases alleviated from General Practice.
Pharmacists are well placed to help reduce the ever-increasing demands on primary care. There are 1257 pharmacies all over Scotland, making Community Pharmacies the most accessible primary care provider, with a higher concentration of pharmacies in deprived and highly populated areas.
As such, we believe community pharmacists should have access to appropriate patient records. In addition, we want to see all community pharmacists having the opportunity to become trained prescribers to allow more common ailments to be treated in pharmacy clinics.
Our Community Pharmacies have the potential to assist more patients in more ways, such as taking the lead in travel health services, like the Barnton Pharmacy in Lothian, which has an inbuilt travel clinic which is a “one-stop shop” for all travel related healthcare needs.
Pharmacies could also play a much greater role in flu prevention, because unlike in England, highly qualified pharmacists are unable to administer flu vaccinations for the NHS, despite being well able to do so. Changing the law, so that pharmacists can administer flu vaccinations would take the pressure off GPs and significantly improve the rates of people being vaccinated.
Taking someone’s blood pressure is a service that some pharmacies already provide, but expanding this service and improving knowledge of its availability could make a real difference to the number of heart attacks that people have in Scotland.
Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:
“Pharmacists are a critically important part of our NHS and maximising their knowledge and expertise will increase the capacity to deliver effective primary care to patients.
“By giving them the ability to assist more patients in more ways we can both improve patient care and help alleviate the ever-growing pressures on our overstretched family doctors.
“It is time to realise the unutilised potential of Community Pharmacies in Scotland.”