Background: The Scottish Government’s vision and action plan, ‘Prescription for Excellence’, provides opportunities to overcome the challenge of recruiting skilled and motivated pharmacists to work on Scotland’s remote edge. Historically there has been no recognised career pathway for pharmacists, particularly early career pharmacists, in this setting. Developing career pathways is a priority to help sustain the remote and rural pharmacist workforce and meet the pharmaceutical care needs of fragile communities.
Method: A collaborative of key stakeholders relevant to remote and rural pharmacy was established. The role and remit of this group was discussed at its first meeting and includes championing remote and rural pharmacy and promotion of collaborative working and shared learning amongst stakeholders. One meeting held had a particular focus on education, training and professional development of remote and rural pharmacists.
Outcome & Impact: Discussions confirmed the need for development and definition of competencies to support remote and rural pharmacist career progression and to enable recruitment and retention. As an initial step, a pre-registration pharmacist training programme with a remote and rural focus was implemented in NHS Orkney during 2015-16. Early impact of this collaborative includes the retention of the current NHS Orkney pre-registration pharmacist to a new remote and rural pharmacist (R&R) development post and successful recruitment to both the NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland 2016-17 pre-registration pharmacist posts.
Future plans: Future plans will involve formally evaluating the 2015-16 pre-registration training programme and developing the structure of and agreeing a competency framework for the R&R pharmacist development post.
Acknowledgements: The authors report this on behalf of the 'Pharmacy on the Edge' Collaborative and acknowledge their valued input.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.