Scottish government to fund pharmacist independent prescribing course with locum cover

In Scotland recently there’s been announced
the creation of a new independent prescribers course, that’s primarily focused on creating
independent prescribers that are working in community pharmacies. So, this focus on the
fact that the prescriber will be using their prescribing skills in the community pharmacy
has been different to previous ones, where it’s been more around secondary care or going
off and working in a GP practice. What’s really exciting for myself as an employer of pharmacists,
is [NHS Scotland is] facilitating it by funding the backfill to allow our community pharmacists
to go off and do it. So that’s going to enable us to put more pharmacists through, and when
they get back they’re going to be able to use their IP qualification in ways that we probably
can’t even imagine yet. The great thing is that’s coming out of community pharmacy,
it’s not out of a GP practice or hospital – it’s empowering community pharmacists
to do more. It’s going to be 50 places this year funded to the tune of 22 days to allow
[them] to go to the courses that are on at the university, and then also the days in
practice where you have to go and shadow a prescriber or prescribers. Twenty-five places
at University of Aberdeen, 25 at University of Strathclyde. NHS Scotland have provided
the funding for that. For me, this is a very clear sign that they continue to see community pharmacy
as a great place to deliver services to the population of Scotland. Is this the kind
of thing you’d like to see NHS England fund, in England? Absolutely, if you look at what’s
happening in terms of GP numbers dropping off and capacity in primary care, it makes an awful lot of sense
to do it in a way that actually gives a pharmacist a huge amount of scope and range going forward. This isn’t about a single patient group direction, which treats one set of individuals, this
is about unleashing the potential in every pharmacist. Why wouldn’t you want to have
that available on the high street?