Why your voice is needed for Health and Social Care integration

Aileen Bryson - Practice & Policy LeadBy Aileen Bryson MRPharmS, Scottish Practice and Policy Lead

Understanding prescribing budgets, the importance of medicines in modern healthcare and promoting health and wellbeing are just some of the challenges facing Health and Social Care Partnerships in the new integrated health and social care landscape.

Integration will provide new pathways and opportunities to improve patient care and it is vitally important that pharmacists are themselves integrated into this process.

Whichever area of practice you are working there is enormous scope to contribute to the priorities of the partnerships which will include supporting self-management of long term conditions, medication reviews, care home input, efficient use of resources and patient safety, to name but a few.

The integration agenda has several national health and wellbeing outcomes to achieve. As the third largest health profession in the NHS we all need to be more vocal about how our profession can contribute and support these outcomes on many different levels.

Be proactive and get to know your Locality and Strategic Planning Officer/Group to make sure that pharmacy has a voice as part of the multidisciplinary team. Be bold and show local leadership by attending community groups to raise awareness of how better engagement with pharmacy can improve patient care.

The Scottish Team at RPS will continue our work with stakeholders including Scottish Government and politicians. We will lobby for pharmacy to be represented at both strategic and operational levels in the new structures and, as always, work to improve pharmacy’s positioning within the NHS. However, it is equally important to influence at local level. Everyone can contribute to this agenda and collectively we can be heard as one voice.

If you would like to contribute your voice, then why not tell us your priorities for the future of pharmacy in our survey. You can find out more information about advocating for pharmacy on our Talking to Government webpage.

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