A COUNCILLOR has praised the role Shetland’s pharmacies have played during the coronavirus pandemic – and he has called for a representative of the local sector to take a seat on the board of the isles’ health and social care partnership.
South mainland member Robbie McGregor, who himself has been involved in pharmacy for a number of decades, said that during the lockdown “our pharmacies remained open and allowed the public to have face to face access with staff and get advice”.
During a virtual meeting of Shetland’s health and social body the integration joint board (IJB) on Thursday, McGregor said community pharmacies which have dispensed medication – like the ones in Lerwick, Scalloway and Brae – have “stepped up” during the pandemic.
He noted that while pharmacies have remained open, other services have had to be accessed by phone.
McGregor has himself been on the pharmacy register for a number of decades and while he remains a director of a company on the Scottish mainland, he has no involvement in the local sector.
The councillor asked if any consideration had been given to having a pharmacy representative on the IJB, which has a number of representatives from different fields such as nursing, social work, the third sector and care.
The budget for pharmacy and prescribing in the 2020/21 IJB budget is over £6.6 million, which is over 10 per cent of the overall figure.
Interim chief officer Jo Robinson said pharmacies have played an “absolutely critical role” in supporting communities in Shetland during the pandemic.
She said she would be “absolutely open” to considering having a pharmacy representative on board.
Shetland Islands Council’s governance and law manager Jan Riise, though, explained that any addition to the board would have to be considered when its integration scheme – which sets out how the IJB operates – is next reviewed.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 420 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News