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Practising pharmacy: making it happen

Practising pharmacy: making it happen

So far this week, we’ve discussed the workforce crisis in general practice. Join us today as we’ll be talking about action points to make practice-based pharmacists a reality

Posted: 13 April 2016

If you’ve missed yesterday’s episode of this week’s feature on practice-based pharmacists, click here.

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

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

Expanding the use of practice-based pharmacists as an integral part of the GP team would enable the cost effective utilisation of a highly skilled, readily available workforce to augment primary care. It would improve access for patients, both in the clinical and domiciliary settings, to provide patient-centred care. It could help towards overall cost savings within the NHS and reduction in the use of unscheduled care, assist with admissions avoidance and could facilitate safe hospital discharge. It would help to break down the “silos of care” that currently exist between GPs and pharmacists, and would create stronger and more versatile multi-disciplinary teams.
Having looked at the evidence from patient experience and clinical outcomes, and having talked to other pharmacists in this role and their GP colleagues already benefiting from this workforce, we believe p every GP practice would gain from the access, knowledge and skills that a GP practice- based pharmacist creates.

Let us hope, if we all make this model move forwards, that in 20 years time we will indeed think how odd it was that “back then” there was no such thing as a “practice-based pharmacist”.

Action points

1. Set up some integrated training. We know more than 90 per cent of all contacts within the NHS occur in general practice, yet currently there is nothing formal in place to train pharmacists within the general practice setting. Surely this needs to happen to break down the barriers, increase closer working relationships and engender mutual understanding between the currently separate groups of health professionals?

2. Invest in the idea. Find some funds to pump prime the theory into action. Place some practice- based pharmacists in forward-thinking and supportive general practice settings around the country to gain evidence-based, practical feedback and understand the benefits and potential learning points that can move this exciting role into the future. Once the pharmacists are in GP practices and become recognised for their value, they are likely to be retained and the role will become more recognised and formalised.

Join us tomorrow for the last episode of this week's feature as we'll be discussing the roles of practice-based pharmacists