Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Primary care

Bigger role for pharmacists as Scotland pilots extension of minor ailment scheme

All patients in Inverclyde are to be able to have medicines for minor ailments provided directly by their community pharmacist under a pilot scheme to test whether opening up the minor ailment service (MAS) to all patients will improve access to primary care and encourage patients to use the pharmacy as a first port of call.

The move is part of a wider strategy in Scotland to give a greater role to pharmacists in providing care in the community and reduce the burden on GPs. If the scheme is successful, it could be rolled out nationally across Scotland in the future.

Since 2006, the minor ailment service has been available to those aged over-60s, under-16s, pregnant women and people with medical exemptions or on low incomes. But from 30 January 2017, all 19 community pharmacies in the Inverclyde area will offer the service to anyone registered with a GP. Pharmacists will be able to assess NHS patients and provide treatment for some common uncomplicated conditions usually requiring a prescription from a GP.

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison

Source: Scottish government

Shona Robison, Scottish health secretary, says pharmacists are “well qualified to deal with minor ailments successfully”

The Scottish government says patients would still be able to make an appointment with their GP if they prefer.

Shona Robison, the Scottish health secretary, says: “The Scottish government is working with the GP profession to improve and redesign the way primary care is delivered in Scotland.

“We know that pharmacists are well qualified to successfully deal with patients who have minor ailments, ensuring appropriate treatment, advice or referral.”

She adds: “By extending the minor ailment service to all patients in Inverclyde we will be able to test the benefits for patients and service provision generally. “Importantly, we want to know whether this will reduce the burden on GPs and other local services, if it will deliver and support better and appropriate access to primary care for patients, and how the current service could be further developed nationally.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202266

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Scottish health secretary Shona Robison

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.