Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 13.9.2006

In the Press
04.05.06 - The Scottish Executive have produced a report entitled The Future Care of Older People in Scotland which includes measures designed to allow elderly people to remain in their own home and avoid full-time residential care. The report called for "telecare" services, being piloted in West Lothian, to be rolled out across Scotland. West Lothian is working towards introducing telemedicine, to allow prescription drugs to be monitored via mobile phones.

04.05.06 - Ministers are considering new guidelines on administering drugs without consent following fears that hundreds of elderly people are secretly being given medicine to make life easier for staff. Following stories in the press that one in seven care homes in Scotland admits giving drugs to residents without their knowledge, the Executive is to draw up a new code of practice, including guidance on the use of surreptitious drugs.

21.05.06 - Chemotherapy treatment Alimta (approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium) may be withdrawn from use in Scotland. Their decision to approve the drug is to be reviewed after an initial ruling by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) south of the border stated that it was "not cost effective".

22.05.06 - Apparently, the SNP is considering further reform, with plans to cut the number of health boards down from the current 14 with responsibility for local NHS services handed to community health partnerships.

14.06.06 - The Scottish Executive Health Department launched the new three year Scottish Diabetes Framework - Action Plan.

19.07.06 - Vice-chairman of the Scottish Medicines Consortium, Professor David Webb, has claimed lives are being put at risk because doctors don’t learn how to properly prescribe medicines.

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Scottish Health Service Senior Reps Committee 23.6.06
Pay: The payment of this years salary increase “on account” to those still on Whitley grades was approved. It was noted that the PCS letter PCS(AFC)2006/4 states “There will be no recovery of any payment on account for those who on assimilation would still be on a protected salary in 2006/2007. However, the payment on account will cease on assimilation and the protected salary under Agenda for Change will be set by reference to the rates in force on 31 March 2006. If an individual is not at the maximum of their Whitley scale and an increment is due at a date between 1 April 2006 and the date of assimilation, the protected salary will include that increment.”
Pensions Review: Discussions on pensions have been overtaken by the consultation on the new proposals.
Assimilation: Only Borders Health Board has had pharmacy staff assimilation letters issued as yet. Further results are awaited.

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Scottish Professional Advisory Committee
An information leaflet detailing the proposed role of the SPAC and including a membership form was launched at the ASCP meeting in June. It also included an application form. It was circulated at the meeting and available from the website and publicised via the ghpscot mailing list. Attempts to get a representative from one of the primary care groups failed, so Don Page has agreed to look after their interests on the Committee. Membership of the Committee is currently
Jim Bannerman
Christine Gilmour
Angela Munday
Don Page
Sandy Watson

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Association of Scottish Chief Pharmacists
I have attended two meetings of the Acute Group since the last Council meeting. The August meeting was the last meeting of this group, as the various pharmacy groups in Scotland are discussing the best way to work together and avoid duplication of effort.

Various issues were discussed at the meetings including vaccines, home care, agenda for change and the future structure and organisation.

Colin Rodden
7 September 2006

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