NHS England, Health Education England, RCGP and the BMAs GP Committee are working with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on this three year pilot to test the role of clinical pharmacists working in general practice.
Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medications and better access to health checks.
Having a clinical pharmacist in GP practices means GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions. This will help GPs manage the demands on their time.
The work will support general practice as part of the GP Workforce 10 Point Plan (“Building the Workforce – the New Deal for General Practice”).
On 13 October, NHS England announced an increase in the budget for this pilot. The budget has increased from £15 million to £31 million. This will part-fund 403 new clinical pharmacist posts across 73 sites, covering 698 practices in England, supporting over 7 million patients. View a list of the pilot sites.
The pilot builds on the experiences of general practices that already have clinical pharmacists in patient facing roles, in some cases as partners. It will be evaluated so that success and learning is identified and reported.
Practices have already suggested that this role could include managing care for people with self-limiting illnesses and long-term conditions and have asked that the new team members have the ability to independently prescribe.
The pilot was announced on 7 July, when GP practices and groups of practices were invited to bid. 292 applications were received and considered by regional teams before being assessed by a national moderation panel.
The pilot will be part funded for three years with an expectation that practices will continue with the role into year four and beyond. It is anticipated that clinical pharmacists will be in post by spring 2016.
Please read the supporting materials below for further detail on clinical pharmacists and the pilot:
- Press release: More than 400 pharmacists to be recruited to GP surgeries by next year
- Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot
- Video case study for patients: Old School Surgery, Bristol
- Video case study for GPs: Wolverhampton Road Surgery
- Case Study: Wallingbrook Health Group, Devon
- Case Study: Monkfield Medical Practice, Cambridge
- Case Study: The Old School Surgery, Bristol
Further resources are available from the following organisations:
- Royal Pharmaceutical Society
- Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) – General practice pharmacist training pathway
- Primary Care Pharmacists’ Association – A guide for GPs considering employing a practice pharmacist
If you have any further questions which are not answered by the FAQs please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Letter from Dame Barbara Hakin, National Director of Commissioning Operations
- Press release: New £15m scheme to give patients pharmacist support in GP surgeries
NHS England and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society presented at a series of webinars and events to help GP practices and pharmacist understand the role of pharmacists in general practice and the application process. Please see below for links to the event materials:
- 12 August: Pharmacists in GP surgeries webinar. Over 300 professionals attended this webinar. Listen to the recording
- 20 August: Responding to the NHSE Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot Scheme, Leeds
- 26 August, 13.00-14.00: Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot Webinar. Listen to the recording