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Enhanced role for community pharmacists

23rd March 2020

Pharmacists empowered to help more patients during COVID-19 outbreak.

Community pharmacists are to perform an enhanced role during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Pharmacists will be able to support more patients, reducing the pressure on other parts of NHS Scotland through the extension of the Minor Ailment Service.

The Scottish Government has also accelerated plans to expand access to Emergency Care Summary (ECS) data, which mainly contains medication information, to pharmacists.

Health Boards have been asked to provide access to this information to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in communities.

More than a thousand community pharmacies provide a range of NHS Pharmaceutical Care services on behalf of the NHS in Scotland.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:"The vital work of community pharmacies up and down the country is key in ensuring that we continue to reduce the burden across the NHS, and patients continue to get the necessary medicines they need to stay healthy.

“Many people visit a community pharmacy every day, with these numbers increasing in the current COVID-19 outbreak.

“This makes them the most accessible healthcare professionals on the front line of community health services, and a valuable resource to NHS Scotland.

“Strengthening the role of pharmacists, and easing some of the pressure from frontline NHS services, is therefore an important step in our wide ranging response to the current crisis."

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