News

08.07.15

£15m pharmacists plan launched to ease GP workload

Up to 300 clinical pharmacists are expected to be recruited and employed in GP surgeries to provide direct patient care and to ease the workload of doctors, as part of a new £15m scheme launched by NHS England. 

The three-year pilot project for England will see pharmacists support around a million patients with self-limiting illnesses or long-term conditions. 

The scheme, which will launch later this year, will focus on areas of greatest need where GPs are under greatest pressure, and aims to build on the success of GP practices already employing pharmacists in patient-facing roles. 

It is part of the GP workforce 10-point plan agreed between the BMA GPs committee, Royal College of GPs, NHS England and Health Education England. 

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “This has the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their GPs and for pharmacists. 

“Tapping into the skills of clinical pharmacists should help expand care and relieve some of the pressure that GPs are clearly under. This isn’t a silver bullet but it is a practical and constructive contribution to the wider challenge.” 

Examples 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, and assisting with communication across a patient’s care pathway, including with GPs, hospitals and social care. 

Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Board chair Sandra Gidley said: “This substantial investment by NHS England shows the confidence that the NHS has in the pharmacy profession to deliver direct patient care. We are now seeing the results of our joint work with RCGP, which 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. 

“This is delivery on a large scale of one of the RPS English Pharmacy Board’s key campaign ambitions, to have pharmacists working in GP practices in England, improving patient care.” 

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, said that doctors 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,” she said. “This has the potential to have a major impact on patient care and safety, as well as reducing waiting times for GP appointments.” 

To help practices start the project, NHS England will part fund the clinical pharmacists for 36 months, initially at 60 % for the first 12 months. 

GP practices can independently apply for the funding or submit a joint application as a federation, with each pilot based on one senior clinical pharmacist and a number of clinical pharmacists working together. 

BMA GPC education, training and workforce subcommittee chair Dr Krishna Kasaraneni added: “It is important that we look at how pharmacists can work more efficiently within general practice and relieve some of the unprecedented pressure on GP services.   We will need to look closely at how these pilots operate and ensure that the clinical benefits of the scheme are clear.” 

Applications will be assessed by the local education and training board and NHS England regional team. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at will to meet demand and pressures and we’ve... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

AAC, PHPs & Me: Could the life sciences sector benefit the NHS?

30/06/2020AAC, PHPs & Me: Could the life sciences sector benefit the NHS?

Matt Roberts, NHE Editorial Lead Yes, would be the simple answer. There are significant skills and expertise within the sector which the NHS could tap into; that much has... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

July 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

featured articles

View all News