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Pharmacists in Scotland and Wales call for 'parity' of records access following England roll-out plans

Mair Davies, chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board of the RPS and Scotland director Alex MacKinnon. Pharmacy organisations have called for community pharmacists in Scotland and Wales to be granted access to the summary care record (SCR)

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh Pharmacy Board chair Mair Davies and Scotland director Alex MacKinnon are calling for pharmacists to have equal access to patient records across the UK

Pharmacy organisations have called for community pharmacists in Scotland and Wales to be granted access to the summary care record (SCR), after officials unveiled plans to roll out access in England from the autumn.

Community and social care minister Alistair Burt announced on 23 June 2015 that all community pharmacies in England will have access to the SCR later in 2015 following a successful pilot involving 140 pharmacies.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) directorates in Wales and Scotland said they would continue to campaign for the same level of access in the other UK nations, saying this is needed to improve patient care.

Mair Davies, chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board of the RPS, says: “It’s encouraging news that community pharmacists in England are finally getting access to the patient information they need to care for their patients effectively. It’s vital that community pharmacists in other parts of the UK also have access to patient records, so they, like their colleagues in England, are enabled to provide the best care for patients.

“RPS Wales looks forward to working with the Welsh government, local health boards and other pharmacy stakeholders to ensure community pharmacies have access to equivalent information, which in Wales is the Individual Health Record.”

RPS Scotland “strongly believes” that extending SCR access will lead to safer and more accessible care, it says in a statement.

Scotland director Alex MacKinnon says: “Access to an electronic shared record will undoubtedly be a key enabler for the development of community pharmacists’ clinical role. I would encourage the Scottish government to work with key stakeholder bodies, including the RPS and Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), to enable similar access for community pharmacists working in Scotland.”

CPS chief executive Harry McQuillan says: “I note with great interest the news from south of the border with regards to community pharmacy access to SCRs. As a pharmacist who accessed this technology over ten years ago, I would urge the Scottish government to look into similar access for the community pharmacy network in Scotland to enhance patient care.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068856

Readers' comments (1)

  • I to look south with optimism on this issue. The new responsibilities and associated issues that will naturally arise for pharmacy professionals as a result of access to the records will indeed be a challenging and daunting for most pharmacists. However the progression to the 'management' of a patient by a pharmacist is a useful goal. Record access is critical to achieving this safely. Perhaps this may shine a light on the level of competence of community pharmacists and drive us all forward for greater excellence in caring for patients.

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