The Scottish Government has announced that the Minor Ailment Service in community pharmacies will be extended to benefit everyone over the coming year.
The service which was previously only available to those who met certain age, health or income criteria, will be ‘redesigned’ so it can be open to all.
In its recently-released report, Delivering for Today, Investing for Tomorrow – The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2018-19), the Scottish Government unveiled its plans for the next year including the Bills that will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
‘We want more people to use their community pharmacy and think of their community pharmacist as the first point of access for care and advice,’ the Government said in a statement. ‘Enhancing these services and the clinical role of community pharmacists is crucial.
‘We will build on the learning from the extended Minor Ailment Service pilot in Inverclyde and the rollout of the Pharmacy First initiative by developing and implementing a redesigned minor ailment and common conditions service available to all in the coming year.
‘We are also strengthening and refreshing the Chronic Medication Service in order improve how it enables community pharmacists to provide personalised care for people with stable long‑term conditions. In the coming months we will say more about how the shape of this service will be enhanced by building in medication review, pharmacist prescribing and monitoring of patient medicines.’
The Scottish Government announcement was welcomed by, among others, the NPA.
‘The Community Pharmacy Minor Ailment Service has supported patients to receive NHS treatment and advice without using GP or A&E appointment time for over a decade,’ said Janice Oman, NPA Scotland Representation Manager. ‘Improving access for the service to all patients with common clinical conditions and improving community pharmacy services available to those with stable long term conditions demonstrates the Scottish Government’s recognition of the clinical expertise of pharmacists and the unique accessibility of community pharmacies.
‘We look forward to hearing more details of the new redesigned service and its benefits to patients.’
The move has also been welcomed by Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS).
‘We are delighted to welcome this announcement,’ said CPS Chairman, Martin Green, ‘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.’