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RPS Scotland tells Scottish Parliament: we need direct access to health records

Pharmacists’ lack of access to health records puts patients at risk, especially during out-of-hours services, Aileen Bryson, RPS Scotland’s practice and policy lead, has told the Scottish government.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on technology and innovation in health and social care on 31 October 2017, Bryson said that while pharmacists can access the emergency care summary, they must phone NHS 24 to do so.

“There is no direct access even though that has been promised since 2014,” Bryson told the committee, adding that “often there are extra phone calls, which cost extra time.

“We have lobbied for a long time on that point. We can work much smarter with what we have got, but we need extra resources.”

Bryson also pointed out inconsistencies across the sector in degrees of access, something that has come into sharp focus as more pharmacists move to a hybrid model of practice: “We have a situation where the same health professional can access different information depending on where they work. If they work in the community, they cannot access some things that they are able to access if they work in a GP practice,” she added.

A full transcript of the evidence session, which also features contributions from Maree Todd MSP, a pharmacist and Scotland’s Minister for Childcare and Early Years and Aileen Campbell, Scottish government Minister for Public Health and Sport, is available from the RPS website.

The Health and Sport Committee is due to publish its Digital Health and Social Care Strategy 2017–2020 at the end of 2017.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203958

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  • Aileen Bryson practice and policy lead RPS Scotland

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