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Is pharmacy minister eyeing up the Scottish services model?

David Mowat presented the team at Rowlands with their Healthy Living Pharmacy certificate

The pharmacy minister asked questions around the sector's funding and expressed an interest in the Scottish model during a visit to a local branch, C+D has learned.

In what is believed to be David Mowat’s first round of visits to local pharmacies since taking on the pharmacy portfolio from Alistair Burt in July, Mr Mowat visited staff at Rowlands Pharmacy on Folly Lane last Friday (September 16) to discuss the different services the sector provides.

Pharmacy manager Modie Al-Shakarchi said he personally spent “about 40 minutes” with Mr Mowat, who was “very interested in hearing about the advanced services” community pharmacy offers patients.

“He was also asking about funding, in regards to where most of it comes from,” he added.

Two days before Mr Mowat's visit, C+D learned of a letter sent to stakeholders informing them that the government will announce its funding "package" for community pharmacy in England in mid-October, to be implemented in December.

“I told [Mr Mowat] that most of [our funding] comes from dispensing, but we also get funding for other services like medicines use reviews the new medicine services," Mr Al-Shakarchi said.

Mr Al-Shakarchi noted that Mr Mowat “did seem to take on board” that pharmacy “is not just about dispensing”.

Looking to Scotland for answers

Helen Murphy, chief executive officer of Community Pharmacy Cheshire and Wirral – who was also present during Mr Mowat’s visit – said she explained to the minister the role of the local pharmaceutical committee and its relationship with local commissioners.

“I think [Mr Mowat] feels services is the way forward for community pharmacy,” Ms Murphy said, after he was shown a blood pressure measurement demonstration in the pharmacy.

“He is obviously aware of the Scottish model [of pharmacy services] and has a positive view of the way that has been implemented,” she added.

Mr Al-Shakarchi added that as part of his visit to Rowlands, Mr Mowat presented the pharmacy team with their healthy living pharmacy (HLP) certificate, after their efforts to reach HLP status “a couple of months ago”.

Earlier in the day, Mr Mowat received his flu jab at Hood Manor pharmacy. He ended his day by opening a new Eric Moore Partnership Medi-Centre, on Tanners Lane, his parliamentary office confirmed to C+D.

Find out four ways that pharmacy in Scotland is more forward-thinking than England



What would you ask the minister if he visited your pharmacy?

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

GPs very rarely request to see an MUR, in fact they demanded that pharmacists stopped sending them notifications that they had even been done. The letters NMS draw a perplexed, if not totally vacant expression.  Of course, say the letters MUR or NMS to the average employee/locum and you will see a visage that would appear to have inspired Picasso's Blue Period. Say them to a peer reviewer and you will get a reflex eye role/head shake/abnormally loud exhalation. 


Antonio Lex, Primary care pharmacist

Furthermore the scottish phamracy contract didnt receive any cut in funding ;)

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

What possibly could be worse than the English contract? I would take the Scottish contract every time, especially their suggestion of linking the contract to the individual pharmacist and not those who just happen to have applied for the bank loan. 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Excellent. The more we demonstrate by invited MPs into the wonderful pharmacies we have providing excellent services the better our chances of being treated fairly and not just seen as "doling out" medicines as Simon Stevens believes.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Could be a good idea - am I right in thinking MURs and NMS aren't a part of the Scottish pharmacy contract?

M Yang, Community pharmacist

We have chronic medication service (CMS), which bears some similarities to MURs. I've seen it being heavily abused by the likes of Boots for profit, but in my time as a locum - doing mostly independents - I've heard barely a peep from contractors or managers about doing CMS. The GPs aren't that keen on it either, from my personal experience.

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