Could protected learning time for pharmacists be a reality?

johnathanlaird150Johnathan Laird is a community pharmacist independent prescriber with a special interest in asthma. He is based in Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

As we develop into more clinically focused areas, like independent prescribing and managing lists of patients, protected learning has to become a reality. With this in mind, I was delighted to read about the RPS in Scotland advocating the need for protected learning time in their manifestoRight Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future. Read more Could protected learning time for pharmacists be a reality?

Access to Records – Supporting Patients over the festive period and beyond

By Malcolm Clubb, MRPharmS

This year in my pharmacy we are planning to open for the morning on Boxing Day to increase patients’ access at a time where many other health services are closed. However, I am acutely aware that we are still unable to support patients who are not from our pharmacy safely and easily due to lack of access to the Emergency Care Summary (ECS)/Key Information Summary (KIS) records in pharmacies across Scotland. Community pharmacies were promised this by 2014 – it is inconceivable that we still do not have this at the end of 2015. Community pharmacists remain the only health professionals with direct patient contact who do not have access. Read more Access to Records – Supporting Patients over the festive period and beyond

2015 in review: Pharmacists in GP practices

Elaine Thomson - SPB MemberBy Elaine Thomson MFRPSII MRPharmS, Locality Team Leader and Scottish Pharmacy Board Member

It’s been an interesting year. We’ve had the crisis in general practice and the review of out of hours services. We’ve had the announcement of additional funding in Scotland for pharmacists to work with GP practices. All of this against the background of evolving health and social care integration in Scotland. I’ve been working in GP practices for 15 years
so I’m watching the developments around the GP practice model, both north and south of the border, very closely. Read more 2015 in review: Pharmacists in GP practices

2015 in review: our LPFs

SPB Andrea Smith_jpgby Andrea Smith, National Clinical Lead SPSP-PPC and Scottish Pharmacy Board member

So as we approach the end of the year 2015, I turn to reflecting on what I have achieved both personally and professionally. I reached a milestone birthday in June, and while still trying to come to terms with reaching my “half century”, I’ve decided it’s not all bad. As many friends and colleagues know, I have a passion for travel and was delighted to tick-off several destinations on my bucket list this year – Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Istanbul to name but a few. Read more 2015 in review: our LPFs

Kickstart your professional development in 2016

Jonathan Burton - SPB Vice-Chair and SPB Lead for Foundation ProgrammeBy Jonathan Burton  MFRPSII MRPharmS, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board.

2015 has been a year of real progress for the RPS professional development programmes in Scotland. Our Local Practice Forums across the country have held several workshop events to inform members about both the Foundation framework and Faculty portfolio building & submission. Our Scottish National Seminar in August saw packed conference rooms full of pharmacists learning from colleagues with first-hand experience of using the programmes and/or becoming Faculty members and Fellows. Read more Kickstart your professional development in 2016

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. Read more Why your voice is needed for Health and Social Care integration

Why the Scottish Seminar is necessary for change

Johnathan-Laird1-225x300

By Johnathan Laird, MRPharmS, Pharmacy Manager from Turriff, Aberdeenshire and Scottish Finalist in the I Love My Pharmacist competition. You can follow Johnathan at @JohnathanLaird.

In Scotland, change is a word that has resonated politically in recent months and years. Whatever side of the political spectrum you find yourself on the one thing that is probable is that your level of engagement is greater than before.

If you have not already heard, in Scotland we have a vision for pharmacy called Prescription for Excellence. This is a vision for pharmacy that puts a firm emphasis on professional innovation and partnership to deliver the best possible pharmaceutical care for patients. Read more Why the Scottish Seminar is necessary for change

Interview with Sandra Melville, previous Chair and departing Scottish Board Member

Sandra MelvilleSandra Melville MSc, FRPharmS, FFRPS joined the Scottish Pharmacy Board in 2007, becoming Chair in 2008. During her time on the board, Sandra witnessed seismic changes to Scottish pharmacy, including the creation of the devolved Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland and the introduction of Prescription of Excellence. Last month she supported RPS Scotland by giving evidence on Seven Day Services at the Health and Sport committee. Our director, Alex MacKinnon, interviews Sandra as she leaves the board to continue her work in hospital pharmacy in Oban. Read more Interview with Sandra Melville, previous Chair and departing Scottish Board Member

Assisted Suicide: Where do we stand?

Lara SeymourOn the 30th April, Scottish Government published its Stage 1 Report on the Assisted Suicide Bill. RPS Scotland was asked to give evidence for this report and we worked hard to ensure that pharmacists’ opinions were heard. As our members hold a range of ethical views, we recommended specific measures that would protect both patients and health professionals. You can read the full details here.

Earlier this month, Scotland’s Practice and Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson, chaired a debate on Assisted Suicide at Robert Gordon University. Student debaters wrangled over the ethical concerns for pharmacists if the Bill were to pass.  Lara Seymour MRPharmS, Group Leader of RGU’s Pharmacy Law and Ethics Society, reveals the conclusions they came to. Read more Assisted Suicide: Where do we stand?

Working in mental health: why I love it

Wendy Ackroyd lead pharmacist mental healthby Wendy Ackroyd MRPharmS, lead clinical pharmacist in mental health for NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

I decided to try mental health pharmacy on for size, for six months. That was 15 years ago now. It was a good fit.

When working in community pharmacy, I looked at a list of psychiatric drugs on prescriptions (usually combinations the BNF has a black dot against) and felt out of my depth to challenge it. I imagine there are a few of my colleagues who do this now.

Mental health problems are hard to measure – diagnostic criteria overlaps, you can have more than one at a time and the evidence base is… lets say RCTs contain a few less than the 18,000 subjects you see in a trial of a statin. Read more Working in mental health: why I love it