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CPS supports RP role but calls for changes


CPS supports RP role but calls for changes

Community Pharmacy Scotland has told the Rebalancing Medicines and Pharmacy Regulation Programme that the role of the responsible pharmacist is key – it should remain in place and there should be a ratio of one RP to one pharmacy.

However, CPS “feels strongly” that some changes to the RP role could ease the burden imposed on pharmacies by the current rules and regulations.

CPS is asking for the process of assembly to move from an activity which requires an RP to be signed in, to one which does not require an RP to be in charge of the pharmacy. Those pharmacy support staff undertaking the assembly activity would have to be appropriately trained and the activity would have to be carried out under standard operating procedures. This would include the community pharmacy being closed to the public at the time of the operation.

“This change would allow prescriptions to be assembled under safe conditions by a qualified team, ready for clinical checking and onward handover to patients,” says CPS. “The need for an RP to be signed in for assembly in community pharmacy restricts good practice and ultimately impacts negatively on patient care and on the wider healthcare network.”

CPS’ second change request is that medicines which are ready for collection, and which do not require a specific intervention by the pharmacist, can be handed out to patients where the RP is signed in to the pharmacy, but not necessarily present.

This would again be supported by the handout activity being carried out by appropriately trained staff, working under standard operating procedures. This change would allow patients to collect medicines in the similar way to when they pick them up from electronic collection boxes at the pharmacy premises.

The current RP role has been in place since 2009. During that time there has been a significant increase in the services provided by pharmacists, facilitated by a well-trained support team, says CPS. “To deliver this enhanced care, ways of working with respect to the safe supply of medicines, must be looked at differently.”

Overall, the pharmacy network needs well-qualified teams delivering patient care at the top of their capability, with the pharmacist supervising work that carries greater clinical risk. This work will sometimes have the pharmacist working at other locations, and appropriate pharmacy operations must be allowed to carry on safely, CPS says.

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