Scottish Conservatives: Give community pharmacists access to full GP records

Written by Tom Freeman on 4 December 2017 in News

Scottish Government faces calls to follow Wales and give pharmacists full access to GP patient records

Waiting for the doctor - credit Robert Couse-Baker

Community pharmacists should have access to full patient records from family doctors, Scottish Conservative MSP Miles Briggs has said.

The shadow health secretary responded to a move by the Welsh government to give pharmacists access to GP records in Wales last week, which was welcomed by pharmacy bodies.

Pharmacists have long argued that better access to records would enable them to give the best and safest medicines to patients, but doctors have been protective of the privacy of their patients.

Moves in Scotland to expand access to a summary of key information about patients in case of emergencies has yet to reach pharmacists, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland (RPS) has said, despite similar moves going ahead in England.

Alex MacKinnon, Director for the RPS in Scotland, said the decision in Wales was “great news” for patients there, and said Scotland was “lagging behind”.

“Patients expect healthcare professionals to have the information at hand to enable them to provide the best and safest care and to ensure that the patient journey is seamless across services,” he said.

Briggs said: “Scotland is clearly well behind the curve on how to transform general practice and deliver person-centred health care by making Scotland’s pharmacies a key partner in primary health care.

“Scottish Conservatives strongly believe that by enabling community pharmacists to access the GP record, people will receive better, safer and more accessible care.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Community pharmacists across Scotland already have access to essential patient information through a dedicated NHS 24 phone line.”

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