More than 300,000 patients will soon have access to expert advice from a clinical pharmacist when they visit their doctor, thanks to the expansion of a new scheme to recruit and employ pharmacists in local practices.
A total of 76 practices across Hampshire and Dorset will receive a share of national funding to create a total of 18 clinical pharmacists (1). Recruitment of pharmacists for the three year initiative will begin immediately, giving patients the additional support of an expert pharmacist in their GP surgery from Spring 2016.
Benefits include support for patients with long-term conditions who will get extra help including advice on how to manage multiple medications and more access to clinical advice on treatments. The pilots will be evaluated and will build on the experiences of general practices that already have clinical pharmacists as part of their team, in some cases as partners. The work is part of the GP Workforce 10 Point Plan, which aims to strengthen and support the GP workforce.
Dr Liz Mearns, medical director for NHS England Wessex local office said:
“Joint working between pharmacists and GPs has the potential to have major benefits for both patients and clinical professionals. This pilot will be a win-win for GPs, pharmacists and patients. “By testing these new ways of working across professional boundaries we are taking another step forward to relieving some of the pressure that GPs are clearly under and ensuring patients see the health professional that best suits their needs.”