This was discussed and agreed. A copy of the report is available here for information.
|The meeting was supposed to be attended by the Minister for Health and Community Care, Malcolm Chisholm, but Parliament had just restarted after the recess and he had to attend an afternoon debate on Water in Scotland. Instead, Deputy Minister Mary Mulligan (seen here with Chair Bill Goudie) attended in his place.
Various topics were raised and discussed including
- The inability of management and unions to find the resources to implement the PIN Guidelines
- The effect of the PIN guidelines on staff workload given the reduction in hours involved in most of the guidelines.
- Lack of replacement staff for time off required by the Working Time Regulations
- Proper succession planning for NHSScotland
- Targeting additional funding for PIN Guideline and Working Time Regulation Implementation
- Agenda For Change – there is no Scottish Plan B.
- Protection under Agenda For Change
- Inclusion of out-of-hours money in basic salary – differential payments for differently graded staff doing exactly the same work
- Senior Managers Pay – excluded from partnership or appeals
- The Acute Strategy Review
I asked the Deputy Minister one question on 28 day dispensing, which she promised to investigate, and provided her with two additional questions with a request for a response. The text of the questions is given below.
1. Pharmacists of grade E and above are included in the management costs submitted by each Trust whether they are managers are not, due to the circulated corrigendum to NHS Circular PCS(PH)2001. The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists is concerned that this reporting is inaccurate, is not applied to a number of other hospital staff (e.g. doctors), is based on annual salary and not role fulfilled and may adversely affect the ability of hospital pharmacy to recruit and to achieve some of the goals of The Right Medicine. We would like to see reporting limited to only the most senior pharmacy managers and all others exempted on the grounds that they are clinical staff.
Prior to the circulation of the above circular, only the proportion of time each pharmacist graded E and above spent on management tasks was reported. The corrigendum made no such distinction and asked for details of all pharmacists graded E and above. It is the opinion of the Guild that this is likely to cause problems in the appointment of Clinical Pharmacy Leaders as espoused in The Right Medicine.
With the recent publicity surrounding the figures given for time spent in management duties in the NHS in Scotland and those for south of the border, it would also be an easy way to quickly reduce management figures.
2. Since NHS Scotland is intended to appear as one employer and learn from lessons elsewhere in the system, why is each Trust in Scotland having to justify changing from a 7 day supply of medicines to patients on discharge to a 28 day supply? All the arguments have been aired and won in NHS Ayrshire and Arran where patient complaints prompted the discussions. As this situation exists throughout NHS Scotland why has there not been a Health Department directive to all Trust Finance Departments to action this change?
As an exemplar employer, pharmacists working in NHS Scotland should be easily able to supply patient information leaflets. Switching to supplying original packs to patients on discharge would solve virtually this entire problem, and yet significant amounts of time are being spent in each Acute Trust to justify the change with the Trust Finance Directors and agree matters with each Primary Care Trust. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that the net effect of making this change is a saving in medicine costs across the whole NHS Board area so why is the same work being repeated in each Acute Trust? This is contrary to the philosophy of not reinventing wheels as stated in Our National Health and reiterated at NHSScotland Forum meetings.
There is a commitment in The Right Medicine to achieve this in 2005 but it should not be necessary to wait that long now that it is in practice in NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
3. The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists would be interested to hear of any reasons why pharmacy is now one of the few professions which does not have a consultant grade.
In recent years, many of the other professions working in the NHS have introduced a consultant grade. We would see the Clinical Pharmacy Leaders proposed in The Right Medicine as being worthy of consultant grade and are seriously concerned that without this recognition the service will face great difficulties in recruiting individuals with the appropriate expertise to these posts.
Responses will be reported when they are received.