The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon mentioned her commitment to further develop the new NHS Pharmacy First service in Scotland. The service has been positioned as a crucial part of community health services.
As part of her speech articulating the programme for the government, she mentioned more broadly the importance of community pharmacy to government plans. She also laid out her vision for the delivery of care closer to where people live within their local communities.
Speaking in parliament this week Nicola Sturgeon commented:
“This programme for government strengthens and reforms public services, including our National Health Service. And it takes the first step on the road to a National Care Service.”
“We will also support the Pharmacy First initiative, which allows common ailments to be treated by community pharmacists.
“This is part of a wider set of reforms to community health services.
“Our aim is to ensure that multidisciplinary teams, in a network of Community Treatment and Care Facilities like the one I visited yesterday at Sighthill, provide as much care and treatment as possible in communities and close to home.”
Community Pharmacy Scotland Director of Operations Matt Barclay commented:
“The NHS Pharmacy First service, which was launched in July, builds on the outstanding role played by the community pharmacy network through the COVID-19 pandemic and is seen as important to support the health of the public and strengthen primary care access.
“It is also noted in the Programme for Government that community pharmacists have access to the Emergency Care Summary (ECS) allowing them to see all the medication that the patient has been prescribed. This is a long-held ask of both ourselves, the professional body in Scotland, and as a consequence of COVID where it was quickly rolled out to support at the height of the pandemic.
“It is an area that should continue to be supported to ensure the best care can be given to the public and the benefit can be maximized.
“We welcome the inclusion of community pharmacy within the Programme for Government and will continue to work with all stakeholders to support the development of primary care and community pharmacy services.”