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a dr and pharmacist meeting imageMarch 22 2018

The British Medical Association has called on the government to provide every GP practice with its own pharmacist. This would ease workload pressures on GPs and also ensure that errors are prevented, it said.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, led the call, saying: “Every hospital ward has a linked pharmacist. It’s about time every practice had one too.”

He made his comments responding to NHS England’s announcement to recruit 240 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to work in care homes. “We welcome this scheme that will hopefully reduce medicine-related errors that can all too often result in hospital admissions for some of the most vulnerable people in society,” he said.

“The government must now follow through with this commitment to patients and provide every GP practice with its own pharmacist, which will not only ease workload pressures on doctors, but also ensure that these errors are prevented in the wider community.

“The BMA has already secured investment for this in Northern Ireland, so it’s time ministers build further on the current clinical pharmacist scheme and provide sustainable and recurrent funding to support a roll-out for practices throughout the UK.”

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education has also announced that it has been commissioned by Health Education England to provide the training pathway for the NHS England Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes programme.

CPPE said it will be “delivering a flexible pathway to meet the needs of the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians recruited to the programme. A prescribing qualification is also included in the pathway for pharmacists.”

The ‘NHS England Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes’ programme will be applicable across all types of care home settings, and aims to:

  • provide care home residents with equity of access to a clinical pharmacist prescriber as a member of the multidisciplinary team, with the supporting infrastructure for achieving medicines optimisation according to need;
  • provide care homes with access to pharmacy technicians who will ensure the efficient supply and management of medicines within the care home, supporting care home staff and residents to achieve the best outcomes from medicines.

Links:
BMA statement           
Today’s Pharmacist coverage of NHS England announcement    
CPPE               

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