19 March

We were skeptical when we heard about the pharmacists to help out GP surgeries; could it be just another rouse to throw over a problem?

However after considering the benefits that could be reaped, and understanding the direction GP surgeries will be taking, this step could have been inevitable. And, quite possibly, maybe the only choice the NHS has right now.

Although, despite all of this, pharmacists could also truly improve GP surgeries with their expertise.

Ravi Sharma spoke about her assistance as a pharmacist within a GP surgery. The article discusses the numerous benefits pharmacists can bring towards helping in these surgeries.

They say that the move will improve patient safety and care and, crucially, reduce waiting times for GP appointments.

GP surgeries will be expanding in the future as A&E needs to have stress taken off of their services. However, since there has now been a shortage in GP’s there needs to be an incentive for studying doctors to pursue primary care. There also needs to be extra help in the surgeries, WIC, and UCC’s. One realistic first step is to have pharmacists help out. Most pharmacists are located next to/near a GP surgery, therefore this seems like an idea that could potentially have a long term success.

It is believed that practice based pharmacists could relieve pressures and make a real difference to patient care.

Currently with an over-stretched GP workforce, this could be a solution that would benefit those who seek medical remedies and monitoring of long term illnesses.

“Pharmacists can also work with GPs to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and with practice teams to provide advice on medicines to care homes, as well as visiting patients in their own homes when needed…It’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned. The NHS simply can’t afford to wait any longer to create capacity in the system. We must be more strategic and change the services on offer to make best use of the NHS workforce.” [1]

A consensus that has been reached seems to be that patients could start receiving high quality care through the help of Pharmacists. Therefore perhaps this really is the correct step to take at this point for the sake of patients.

A lot of patients already use A&E as their go-to, but really most patients could be seen by a GP, and more often-than-not, a Nurse, and now also a Pharmacist.

In regards to the shortages of General Practitioners, The RCGP is calling for an increase in the NHS budget for general practice to be increased to 11% by 2017 – it is currently just over 8% – and for 8,000 more GP’s in England by the end of the next parliament.

Please let us know your thoughts.

[1] Medical News Today, (2015). Pharmacists set to work in GP surgeries in radical move to ease pressures on general practice and improve patient care, UK. [online] Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/290999.php 

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