The Rise of GP Practice Pharmacists
Following the success and increased needs in the recruitment of Clinical Pharmacists, Evolve Selection have summarised the recent NHS changes in relation to the future of Primary Care Practice Pharmacists.
In 2015, NHS England launched a pilot project of Clinical Pharmacists, working within Primary Care GP practices. Initially, 450 Clinical Pharmacists were employed across 650 practices across England. Following on from this success, in April 2017, NHS England announced it will now commit to supporting the work of a further 1,500 Pharmacists, totalling a cost in excess of £100 million, in to GP practices by 2020/2021, as part of the five year forward view. This will benefit over 700 more practices in England.
The Royal Pharmaceutical society is working alongside NHS England, Health Education England, The Royal College of General Practitioners and The British Medical Association’s GP Committee to support the programme roll out. Practice based Pharmacists form one of the steps in the GP Workforce 10 Point Plan, which aims to support and strengthen the GP workforce, as set out in the GP Forward View, where the objective is to expand, develop and transform the Primary Care workforce by 2020.
The idea of having a Pharmacist work as part of a general practice team is to help free up as much GP time as possible by resolving the day to day issues, and treat and consult with patients directly. There are many functions which Practice Pharmacists can adopt to enable them to free up GPs’ time, and these will vary dependent upon the needs of the particular practice, and are sure to evolve and adapt over time. Some common examples are:
- Deliver clinical advice to patients about treatments, particularly in the area of polypharmacy
- Assist with communication across a patient’s care pathway, and deal with medication for patients recently discharged from hospitals
- Help manage the shortage of medicines by suggesting similar and suitable alternatives
- Medication reviews and optimisation
- Prescription reauthorisation
- Work alongside other healthcare professionals such as a Practice Nurse to help manage long term conditions
- Be the point of contact for all medicines related queries
- Host minor ailments clinics
- Business management of the dispensary.
There have been many benefits associated with Pharmacists taking up the above responsibilities. Since their recruitment, many practices have reported a reduction in GP locum costs, a reduction in medicines wastage and overuse, a reduction in A&E admissions and the improvement of screenings and diagnosis of chronic and common ailments.
Evolve Selection are a leading independent recruitment agency and also provide permanent recruitment and contract solutions for Clinical Pharmacists, with many successes to date with the recruitment of GP Practice Pharmacists. We support our clients every step of the way and have the experience and expertise to ensure you recruit quality candidates, who can meet and exceed your business needs and expectations. Whether you are looking to expand your team, or to embark on a new career path as a GP Practice Pharmacist, call Evolve Selection now on 0113 457 0777, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org