Developing a model for pharmaceutical palliative care in rural areas—experience from Scotland

Gazala Akram, Emma Dunlop Corcoran, Alison MacRobbie, Gill Harrington, Marion Bennie

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Palliative care is increasingly delivered in the community but access to medicines, particularly 'out of hours' remains problematic. This paper describes the experience of developing a model to deliver pharmaceutical palliative care in rural Scotland via the MacMillan Rural Palliative Care Pharmacist Practitioner (MRPP) project. The focus of the service was better integration of the MRPP into different care settings and professional teams, and to develop educational resources for the wider MDT including Care Home and Social Care staff on medicine related issues in palliative care. A variety of integration activities are reported in the paper with advice on how to achieve this. Similarly, many resources were developed, including bespoke training on pharmaceutical matters for Care Home staff. The experience allowed for a three step service and sustainability model for community pharmacy palliative care services to be developed. Moving through the steps, the key roles and responsibilities of the MRPP gradually shift towards the local Community Pharmacist(s), with the MRPP starting from a locality-based hands-on role to a wider supportive facilitating role for local champions. It is acknowledged that successful delivery of the model is dependent on alignment of resources, infrastructure and local community support.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2017


  • community pharmacy
  • education and training
  • medication used in palliative care
  • pharmaceutical palliative care
  • rural
  • service evaluation
  • support staff


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