Antimicrobial stewardship and the role of community pharmacy

Dr Jacqueline SneddonArticle by Jacqueline Sneddon, Project Lead for SAPG Chief Executive, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

As healthcare professionals, you will be aware that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health issue and an important threat to the future of healthcare. The need to accelerate progress in tackling AMR is well established. European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November, now part of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, is an excellent platform for raising professional and public awareness of the problem of AMR and what everyone can do to use antibiotics more wisely. Read more Antimicrobial stewardship and the role of community pharmacy

Pharmacy teams integral to good dementia care


Francesca AaenArticle by Francesca Aaen, Independent Pharmacist Consultant and Pharmacist Prescriber

Ten years on from the launch of the first Dementia Strategy by the Scottish Government, the second refresh of the document has now been published. The focus firmly remains on delivering timely, person-centred and consistent care and support for every person in Scotland living with dementia, from diagnosis to end of life, in any setting. The greater emphasis on primary and community care in this strategy is an opportunity for pharmacists and their teams working in the community and in the GP practice setting, as well as in acute and long-term NHS care,  to contribute to safe and effective care for their patients living with dementia, most of whom will take medication and access pharmacy services on a regular basis. Read more Pharmacy teams integral to good dementia care

Strengthening Pharmacy in Scotland

Rose Marie ParrArticle by Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Scottish Government

On 21 August 2017, I launched the new pharmacy strategy for Scotland: Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care which sets out the priorities, commitments and actions for improving and integrating pharmacy services in Scotland.

During the launch I had the pleasure of visiting both a community pharmacy and a GP practice in Port Glasgow to meet health and social care practitioners to talk about the way pharmacy services are adapting and enhancing care in the NHS. Read more Strengthening Pharmacy in Scotland

Drug-related deaths in Scotland 2016: How can pharmacy help?

Fiona RaeburnArticle by Fiona Raeburn, Chair, Scottish Specialist Pharmacists in Substance Misuse

This week saw the launch of 2016 data for drug-related deaths in Scotland.

867 deaths have been reported, the highest since data recording began in 1996. The causes of deaths are complex and multi factorial, however, the figures show that drug deaths are more commonly affecting people in an increasingly older age group with multiple significant health problems.  As the profession which is generally in contact with patients most regularly, pharmacists are in a unique position to help. Read more Drug-related deaths in Scotland 2016: How can pharmacy help?

Pharmacist outreach for homeless people

Richard LowrieArticle by Richard Lowrie, Lead Pharmacist Research and Development, Clinical Pharmacist, Homeless Health Service, Pharmacy and Prescribing Support Unit, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

As pharmacists we have a unique, generalist skill set and to access our care, patients do not normally need to go through a gatekeeper or require an appointment. This suits patients who are homeless, who tend to have physical and mental ill health and addictions, and who tend not to access preventative care. Read more Pharmacist outreach for homeless people

Embrace technology in order to release time for pharmaceutical care

Article by Norman Lannigan Lead for Evaluation of Automated Technology (EAT) 

The Wilson and Barber review of pharmaceutical care in the community advised that the potential of automated dispensing systems, including robotics, should be evaluated for its potential to release time for more pharmaceutical care. This led to the establishment by the Scottish Government of the Evaluation of Automated Technology (EAT) work stream under the Prescription for Excellence programme, which I was asked to lead. Read more Embrace technology in order to release time for pharmaceutical care

How can pharmacists help address the needs of older drug users?

Dr Carole HunterArticle by Dr Carole Hunter, Lead Pharmacist, Addiction Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) was established in 1986 and aims to improve Scotland’s response to problem drug use. On 23 June it published a report on the challenges facing the increasing population of drug users. As a specialist pharmacist in substance misuse, this report made interesting reading for me and confirmed my view that pharmacists have an increasingly important role to play in addressing the multiple health issues of this emerging large and vulnerable group. Read more How can pharmacists help address the needs of older drug users?

Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

Maree ToddArticle by Maree Todd MSP, highlighting the issues of patients with hypertension as part of Hypertension Awareness Month and the important role pharmacists play in supporting them. Before becoming an MSP in 2016, Maree was a pharmacist at New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital in Inverness.

This week I held a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark world Hypertension month.

I was pleased to be able to highlight the condition as a pharmacist turned parliamentarian, particularly since I am co-convenor of the cross-party group on heart and stroke. I wanted to remind everyone that this condition can be diagnosed with a very simple test, and it’s easy to treat. Around 30% of adults in Scotland have high blood pressure. It’s very common indeed. So why do we need to raise awareness about it? Read more Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

Jonathan Burton

Today is World Health Day, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. The theme of this year’s day is depression. We want to use this as an opportunity to highlight the important role that pharmacists can play in identifying and supporting people with depression. Today’s article has been written by community pharmacist Jonathan Burton and gives an insight into the ways a pharmacist can help tackle the stigma of depression.

By Jonathan Burton

I work in a community pharmacy which serves a large university student population. Depressive illness is one of the most common conditions I see in my day to day practice and there is much I can do as a pharmacist to help this young adult patient group. Read more How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

Johnathan Laird: My first year on the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board

Johnathan LairdJohnathan Laird is a member of the Scottish Pharmacy Board. One year ago, he was elected at the Board and today he is sharing his experience of being part of a team of great pharmacy professionals. Here is what Johnathan had to say in his own words…  

My relationship with the RPS has been rather patchy over the years. Like many, I cynically questioned the value of the organisation.

How naive I was. Yet another error in the course of my career.

Just over two years ago I made a decision to come out of my shell and get involved. This was the best decision of my career so far.

Read more Johnathan Laird: My first year on the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board