Pharmacy in Primary Care Collaborative

Since July 2014, NHS Fife, NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Highland have been taking part in a collaborative aimed to improve the care of patients that are prescribed high risk medicines and enhance communications between GPs and pharmacists working in primary care. This work has been funded from the Health Foundation's closing the Gap in Patient Safety Programme. Watch this video for further information.


(Click to play video)

The collaborative has been developing, testing and implementing tools to:

  • improve process reliability for the safer prescribing, monitoring and dispensing of high risk medicines, such as
    warfarin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • improve the reliability of medicines reconciliation when patients are discharged from an acute hospital, and 
  • raise awareness of the factors that contribute to ‘safety culture’ through the use of a safety climate survey

Testing is ongoing for the high risk medicines and medicines reconciliation bundles within the original SPSP community pharmacy pilot sites. Resources and tools that have been developed by these pilot teams will be uploaded to this site over time as they are finalised.

Continuous Improvement: 2016–2017 Activities

NHS Circular :PCA (P)(2016) 15 sets out a full description and detailed guidance of the activities which aim to formalise and embed continuous improvement and patient safety practices in the delivery of community pharmacy services.

Understanding improvement and building a safety culture e-modules - As an introduction to the widely used improvement methodologies and to support the use of continuous improvement in the community pharmacy setting, these six foundation modules and two practitioner level modules have been produced to support pharmacists and pharmacy staff's education and development.

Pharmacy Safety Climate Survey - All pharmacy teams will undertake the safety climate survey which was designed and tested via the Scottish Patient Safety Programme. All community pharmacy teams are expected to undertake, or make preparations to undertake, this activity by the 30th September 2017Following the survey it is important that all staff discuss the results in an open and supportive way, and should use the findings to identify areas for improvement. Community pharmacy teams who have previously undertaken a safety climate survey are also expected to undertake the survey again. Information about the timescales for completing the survey are described in NHS Circular: PCA (P)(2016) 15.

References and resources

Links to the references and resources that have been developed through the pharmacy collaborative can be found here.