A new action plan launched by the Scottish Government will expand the role that local pharmacists play in delivering health care services directly to patients.

It aims to introduce more innovative technologies such as tele-healthcare and the use of robots in dispensing medicines, to give pharmacists more time to spend on direct patient care, improving the quality and safety of care, and helping to reduce wasted medicines.

Pharmacists will continue to be placed directly at the heart of their local communities, but working more closely with GPs and hospital teams as well as other health and social care professionals.

Working in partnership with GPs on the management of long-term conditions, pharmacists will contribute to better outcomes for patients with their medicines.

The plan also acknowledges the essential role that dispensing doctors play in supplying medicines to rural communities and will be complemented by an immediate review of the legislation that supports pharmacy services and the dispensing of medicines by GP practices.

In welcoming this new innovation Falkirk West MSP said:

“Expanding the clinical role of pharmacists throughout Falkirk district recognises the role they play in delivering health care service in the heart of our communities. It is also about continuing to make best use of their skills and expertise to benefit more patients.

“The action plan announcement will also allow our pharmacists to achieve their own ambitions and use their knowledge to complement other healthcare professions – becoming an even more valued part of the NHS Forth Valley team.