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  • Community pharmacy care model could free up 18 million GP appointments

    Community pharmacy care model could free up 18 million GP appointments

    Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:18
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  • £10,000 ‘golden hellos’ announced to entice nursing post-grads into ‘difficult-to-recruit’ sectors

    £10,000 ‘golden hellos’ announced to entice nursing post-grads into ‘difficult-to-recruit’ sectors

    Tuesday, 15 May 2018 12:13
  • Scotland announces £6.9m investment in primary care staff training targeted at nursing

    Scotland announces £6.9m investment in primary care staff training targeted at nursing

    Wednesday, 09 May 2018 16:15

NHS-England-logoJuly 8 2015

NHS England has announced a £15 million pilot scheme which will “fund, recruit and employ” clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries. Over the next three years the scheme will see around 250-300 pharmacists employed directly by general practices in the first wave of the programme, supporting around 1 million patients.

The clinical pharmacists’ role will be to support GPs by helping to manage long-term conditions, provide specific advice for people on multiple medications and increase the access to health checks. Pharmacists will also be tasked with helping improve communication about patients’ medicines between the GP surgery, hospitals and community pharmacies.

NHS England says the model of each pilot site will be based on one senior clinical pharmacist and five clinical pharmacists. The senior clinical pharmacist will provide mentoring to the other pharmacists, including training support where needed to take on prescribing responsibilities during the programme.

Practices and groups of practices are being invited to bid to participate in the pilot and are “strongly encouraged to work together to assemble joint bids involving pharmacists across a number of sites.” It is anticipated that clinical pharmacists will be in post early in 2016.

NHS England will co-fund the new pharmacists alongside practices for 36 months, paying 60% for the first 12 months of employment, 40% for the second year, and 20% for the third year. Throughout the first year the clinical pharmacists will undertake a tailored education programme which is being developed by the Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education.

NHS England says the sort of work that a clinical pharmacist may do in a GP practice could include:

  • providing clinical advice and expertise on treatments
  • developing bespoke medicine plans for individual patients
  • establishing ongoing professional relationships with individual patients
  • assisting with communication across a patient’s care pathway, including with GPs, hospitals and social care
  • monitoring patients with complex long term conditions such as hypertension or diabetes
  • managing repeat prescription requests
  • increasing the uptake of new medicines
  • managing medicines shortages by suggesting suitable alternatives where appropriate
  • supporting innovation and clinical research where appropriate
  • mentoring newer pharmacists.

Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP Chair, said: “GPs are struggling to cope with unprecedented workloads and patients in some parts of the country are having to wait weeks for a GP appointment yet we have a ‘hidden army’ of highly trained pharmacists who could provide a solution.

“They will not be substitutes for GPs but will work closely with us as part of the practice team to resolve day to day medicine issues, particularly for patients with long term conditions who are taking a number of different medications. This has the potential to have a major impact on patient care and safety, as well as reducing waiting times for GP appointments.

“This arrangement is already running successfully in some GP surgeries and we hope that this £15m pilot scheme will be a catalyst for more GPs and their teams to participate.

“We are delighted that the proposals we announced with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society back in March this year are already coming to fruition, meaning that patients – and GPs – will see the benefits more quickly.”

Sandra Gidley, Chair of the RPS’s English Board, said the scheme will provide an opportunity for pharmacists from a range of backgrounds to use their skills as part of the general practice team, improving patient care.

“Many pharmacists and GPs already work closely to resolve day to day medicine issues, particularly for patients with long term conditions and who are taking a number of different medications. I am particularly pleased that these new roles emphasise the importance of liaison with hospitals, community pharmacists and care homes to ensure seamless care for patients.”

Links:

NHS England announcement    

NHS Commissioning pilot    

RCGP comment    

RPS response    

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