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MINOR AILMENTS


AS THE EXTENDED MINOR AILMENTS SERVICE IN INVERCLYDE ENTERS ITS THIRD MONTH, SP SPEAKS TO SOME OF THOSE INVOLVED TO SEE HOW WELL THIS PILOT IS WORKING…


INVERCLYDE PHARMACISTS ‘EXTEND’ WARM WELCOME TO MAS W


hen the extended


pharmacy Minor Ailments Service in Inverclyde was


first announced, the idea was warmly received.


The extension of the scheme was, after all, an opportunity for the Scottish Government to address the issue of how primary care is delivered in Scotland and to promote the role of the community pharmacy in any future redesign of the system.


‘We are shifting the balance of care away from hospitals and into the


54 - SCOTTISH PHARMACIST


community,’ Health Secretary Shona Robison had said at the launch of the pilot, ‘increasing our investment in primary care and GP services by £500millon by the end of this parliament.


‘We know that pharmacists are well qualified to successfully deal with patients who have minor ailments, ensuring appropriate treatment, advice or referral. Indeed, this service has been successfully running across Scotland for eligible patients since 2006.


‘By extending the minor ailment service to all patients in Inverclyde we will be able to test the benefits for patients and service provision generally. Importantly, we want to know whether this will reduce the burden on GPs and other local services, if it will deliver and support better and appropriate access to primary care for patients, and how the current service could be further developed nationally.’


So far, so good. Community pharmacists know well that they can indeed function excellently – funded


of course – as the ‘first port of call’ for primary care - and so this pilot provided yet another opportunity for pharmacists to show how well they could fulfil this role.


As such, the initiative was welcomed by both those in the Inverclyde area and by pharmacy leaders, such as Alex MacKinnon, now interim CEO of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scotland (RPS).


RPS’s manifesto – ‘Right Medicine – Better Health – Fitter Future’ had, after all, included a call for such an


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