The minor ailments service (MAS) will soon be made available to ‘all’ in Scotland, the Scottish Government has revealed.

In its 2018-2019 programme, published yesterday (4 September), the Scottish Government said it will extend the MAS, which will cover more common conditions, to every person in the country in the coming year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson told The Pharmacist today: ‘Over the coming year, we will develop and implement a redesigned service covering minor ailments and common clinical conditions that will be available to anyone registered with a GP practice in Scotland.’

It did not specify which ailments or conditions would be covered by the scheme.

As of March 2017, 16% (884,120) of the Scottish population was registered for the MAS, according to Government’s watchdog the Information Services Division (ISD). This means that only 40% of eligible patients are currently registered for the service, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) told The Pharmacist today.


‘Crucial’ step


The Scottish Government said that enhancing community pharmacy services and the clinical role of community pharmacists is ‘crucial’.

It said: ‘Community pharmacy already plays an important role in the communities they serve, providing highly accessible services.

‘We want more people to use their community pharmacy and think of their community pharmacist as the first point of access for care and advice.

‘We will build on the learning from the extended minor ailment service pilot in Inverclyde and the rollout of the Pharmacy First initiative by developing and implementing a redesigned minor ailment and common conditions service available to all in the coming year.’

In 2016/17, more than two million items were provided through the MAS, which accounted for 2% of all items dispensed by pharmacies in Scotland.

The Government is also planning to ‘strengthen’ and ‘refresh’ the chronic medication service to improve how pharmacists can deliver personalised care to patient with stable long-term conditions.

‘In the coming months, we will say more about how the shape of this service will be enhanced by building in medication review, pharmacist prescribing and monitoring of patient medicines,’ the Government said.


‘Essential part’ of NHS


CPS chairman Martin Green said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome this announcement and look forward to working with Scottish Government to explore and shape the evolution of the service over the coming year.

‘We will be building upon our substantial efforts to demonstrate the value that community pharmacy teams add to Scotland’s health record and we intend to firmly cement the idea of the community pharmacy team as an essential part of the wider NHS and as trusted clinicians in people’s minds.’