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Work starts on pharmacy QOF to support Scotland’s healthcare strategy

By News team

Pharmacy directors at Scotland’s 14 NHS boards are developing a quality and outcomes framework to help pharmacists deliver the healthcare quality strategy, which was published by NHS Scotland last May.

Angela Timoney, director of pharmacy at NHS Tayside, said the directors are working to distil what is important for pharmacy within the strategy — which sets out key priorities for improving healthcare in Scotland and increasing patients’ input into their care.

They are aiming to produce a “clinical dashboard”, which will set out key performance indicators for pharmacists and allow quality outcomes to be measured across Scotland.

Miss Timoney said that the workstream is in its early stages, but a small subgroup has been established to take the project forward and begin engaging with practising pharmacists in Scotland, starting with senior management teams.

Further meetings will also be held with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Scottish Pharmacy Board — which was presented with a draft of the project by Miss Timoney and Laura McIver, chief pharmacist at NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, at its most recent meeting (26 January 2011) — to establish what support the body can offer, particularly in areas such as engaging with patients and gathering patient feedback to inform pharmacy practice.

RPS director for Scotland Alex MacKinnon said the board has a role in raising the profile of pharmacy’s patient safety role. “In terms of patient safety [pharmacists] tend to be the invisible team member, and yet as the experts in medicines pharmacists should be seen as guardians of patient safety.

“To that end, the Scottish Pharmacy Board will work to advise on what should be included in the QOF, to ensure that pharmaceutical care is adequately incorporated.”

The board has set up three medicines safety working groups to explore issues relating to adverse drug reactions, pharmaceutical care in care homes, and providing pharmaceutical care to frail and elderly people, Mr MacKinnon said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11067969

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