Associate Feature: Pharmacy is evolving
A spotlight was shone on community pharmacy during the Covid-19 pandemic. People recognised the important role that pharmacists play in our communities, providing access to medicines, and giving advice and treatment to patients close to home.
But there are many more pharmacists who remain out of the limelight. Pharmacy teams operate right across our NHS, playing vital roles to keep us safe and well in hospital teams, GP practices, and specialist services such as mental health and addiction.
It is an exciting time in pharmacy. Pharmacy is evolving: gone are the days when pharmacists were hidden in dispensaries, solely focused on supplying medicines.
Now many pharmacists have patient-facing roles providing holistic care to patients. But we believe more could be done to support this transition. So we are creating Pharmacy 2030, a vision for pharmacy in Scotland, to help policy makers see and maximise pharmacy’s potential.
What is clear from our work so far is the desire among pharmacists to continue this cultural shift from a medicines supply focus to a clinical focus.
Pharmacists in all settings want to support patients to make informed decisions about their medicines, embracing the principles of Realistic Medicine.
To enable this, we need everyone to understand the role of the pharmacy team. And we need this to be underpinned by improvements in infrastructure: better digital solutions, improved multi-disciplinary working and enhanced data.
Alongside this, we need improved workforce planning: more pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and support workers. Pharmacy offers really rewarding careers across Scotland. It is vital that more is done to promote pharmacy as a fulfilling career choice.
We plan to publish Pharmacy 2030 in Autumn 2021; it will demonstrate how pharmacy can work together as a whole profession and with the wider multi-disciplinary team to deliver seamless, person-centred care for patients.
Clare Morrison is director for Scotland, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
This article was sponsored by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society