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Practising pharmacy

Practising pharmacy

Two clinicians make the case for practice-based pharmacists to become a formalised role for the future

Posted: 11 April 2016

Writers: Dr Simon Hodes, Coach House Surgery, Bridgewater House and Rena Amin, Practice Based Pharmacist, Hartland Way Surgery

A mere twenty years ago people had hardly heard of a practice nurse, whereas today it is almost inconceivable for a GP practice to function without the help of highly trained and skilled nurse practitioners. Within the hospital setting, clinical nurse specialists are recognised as crucial to care provision and are highly respected health professionals without whom the NHS could not function today. Yet, while in hospital the role of pharmacists is clearly defined and utilised, there is virtually no clinical cross working at this present time between GPs and practice-based pharmacists.

At this point you are probably asking yourself what all this rhetoric means in practical terms. Many GPs wrongly think a practice-based pharmacist will simply “do all the prescribing for us”. It is therefore helpful to set out exactly the type of skills and benefits a pharmacist could bring to your GP practice. There are already a small number of trailblazing practice-based pharmacists who are carrying out this role.
You would think the job role of a practice-based pharmacist (see box) actually describes the GP you would like to recruit. And that's the exact point. For very good reasons, there are already some practice-based pharmacists out there who are so indispensable (no pun intended) that they have been made partners in their practice.

Join us tomorrow for the second episode of this week’s feature about practice-based pharmacists