09 July

There has been a three year programme put in place to encourage pharmacists to help out GP practices. Within three years the programme has targeted for there to be 250 clinical Pharmacists.

NHS England will part-fund these staff, with additional funding from practices, to help relieve workload pressure on GPs and provide a wider range of services for patients. They will be employed directly by practices, to help with issues such as; managing long-term conditions, giving advice for those with multiple medications, and better access to health checks.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘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.’ [1]

Dr Maureen Baker also commented on the new plan to reinforce the idea that they will not be replacing GP’s but more dealing with medicinal issues that could go without wasting GP’s time.

Some practices have implemented this already and running pilots to see if the scheme works. The question is; will these help out the pressures GP’s are facing?

It does seem that they are more than qualified to help with more, but perhaps it is the patients that need to be made aware of this.

Let us know your thoughts.

[1] Gponline.com,. ‘NHS England Unveils £15M Fund To Employ Pharmacists In GP Practices | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 July 2015.

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