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Half a million people to benefit as clinical pharmacists join GP teams

Half a million people to benefit as clinical pharmacists join GP teams
20 July 2017

We have been included in the second wave of areas to have a clinical pharmacist in their GP practices.

The announcement was made this week by NHS England, which brought 494 clinical pharmacists into general practice in the first wave of its clinical pharmacy pilot in 2015.

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the surgery team to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medications and better access to health checks.

Part of the General Practice Forward View (GPFV), which committed to invest more than £1bn to support general practice - and during a time when general practice is facing unprecedented pressure - the role of a clinical pharmacist is key to improving quality of care, ensuring patient safety and supporting GPs to deliver the best services to their registered populations.

Glenn Coleman, head of primary care and programme director General Practice Forward View, NHS England (Cheshire & Merseyside) said: “We are delighted that so many local people will be benefiting from the rollout of the second wave of the clinical pharmacist pilot scheme.

“Evaluation of the pilot in other areas of the country has found that, having a clinical pharmacist, who is an independent pharmacist prescriber, within general practice, can create up to 3.5 hours of GP time a day. This frees up time to allow the GP to see other people who need them.”

Dr Mark Dickinson, our head of prescribing and medicines optimisation, said: “This role is new, exciting, challenging and rewarding. Working in practices involves a range of activities including visiting housebound patients for medication reviews, reviewing patients on complex medication regimes in clinic and looking at ways to improve monitoring of high-risk medicines. 

“Every patient contact is an opportunity for clinical pharmacists to improve care, optimise health benefits and reduce harm by ensuring they are getting the most from their medicines.”