Drug-related deaths in Scotland 2017: How can pharmacy help?

Article by Fiona Raeburn, Immediate Past Chair, and Dr Carole Hunter, Current Chair, on behalf of the Scottish Specialist Pharmacists in Substance Misuse

This week the 2017 data for drug related deaths in Scotland was released.

The figures showed a further increase year on year.​ Sadly 934 people lost their lives. These deaths were preventable.

The Scottish Pharmacists in Substance Misuse group urge pharmacy staff across Scotland to think about the contact that they have with people who use drugs. Contact with community pharmacies in particular is often daily and presents opportunities to provide support, advice and encouragement as well as early warning signs that things are not going so well. Read more Drug-related deaths in Scotland 2017: How can pharmacy help?

Pharmacy Anywhere: the future of telehealth in Scotland

Article by Clare Morrison, Senior Clinical Quality Lead and Lead Pharmacist (North) at NHS Highland

What do you do when you need to offer pharmaceutical care across a huge geographical area but you only have a small team of pharmacists? You turn to telehealth.

NHS Highland has two distinct areas: the urban area around Inverness which is well served with community pharmacies, and a vast remote and rural area which is sparsely populated and, to a large extent, relies on dispensing GP practices. Read more Pharmacy Anywhere: the future of telehealth in Scotland

RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 5, Interview with Giovanna Di Tano)

Article by Giovanna Di Tano, RPS local coordinator for Lothian

Since qualifying in Pharmacy in 1982 from Strathclyde University, I have to date worked in community pharmacy. After moving to Edinburgh in 1985, I have juggled work whilst being a wife and a mother to three daughters. Read more RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 5, Interview with Giovanna Di Tano)

RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 4, Interview with Andrew Carruthers)

Article by Andrew Carruthers, RPS local coordinator for Glasgow

I am Andrew Carruthers. I am two years qualified and currently work in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as a Medicines Information Pharmacist, with a clinical role in Care of the Elderly and Stroke. I completed my pre-registration year in hospital, but I also do the occasional locum at the weekends so have some exposure to Community Pharmacy. Read more RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 4, Interview with Andrew Carruthers)

RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 3, Interview with Lesley McArthur)

Lesley McArthurArticle by Lesley McArthur, RPS local coordinator for Forth Valley

I never know how to start these things, but here goes… Lesley McArthur (the concise version)… qualified 1989 (gasp) and worked in community pharmacy for the vast majority of my career. There’s not much I haven’t done in those 30 years, really, including recruitment, training, management, HR with a wee diversion into GP practice work. Lately, I’ve had a portfolio of work…

Read more RPS Local in Scotland: Bringing RPS closer to you (Part 3, Interview with Lesley McArthur)

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?

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?

Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!

Dr Jacqueline Sneddonby Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, Project Lead for Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon highlights opportunities for community pharmacy teams in Scotland to support European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2016 and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Read more Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!