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Today the Programme for Government for 2018/19 was launched.

In it, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces two key commitments relating to Community Pharmacy:

  • The Minor Ailment Service, delivered by all community pharmacies, will be developed further and made available to every person in Scotland within the coming year. It will also be enhanced to cover more common conditions.
  • The Chronic Medication Service will be strengthened and refreshed, improving how personalised pharmaceutical care is delivered for people with stable long-term conditions.

The evolution of the Minor Ailment Service will widen access to NHS consultations in pharmacies across all Scottish communities, utilising the skills and training of the Pharmacy team to assess symptoms and take action to care for people with acute, self-limiting health concerns. As is the case just now, advice will always be given, free NHS treatment may be prescribed if necessary and referrals to other healthcare professionals will be made where appropriate.

Whilst the service has been running since 2006, only people who meet certain age, health and social criteria have been able to access the Pharmacy team’s expertise and NHS treatments in this way so far. This move to include the whole population will take learnings from a successful pilot programme in the Inverclyde area of Glasgow during 2017-18 and is a vital step in the wider redesign of how people access care in Scotland, sending a strong message of “Feeling unwell? Pharmacy First”.

Martin Green, Chair of Community Pharmacy Scotland commented: “We are delighted to welcome this announcement and look forward to working with Scottish Government to explore and shape the evolution of the service over the coming year. We will be building upon our substantial efforts to demonstrate the value that community pharmacy teams add to Scotland’s health record and we intend to firmly cement the idea of the community pharmacy team as an essential part of the wider NHS and as trusted clinicians in people’s minds.”

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