Following a successful pilot programme, which resulted in 491 pharmacists working in general practice, the General Practice Forward View committed over £100million to support an extra 1,500 clinical pharmacists to work in general practice by 2020/21. This is part of a wider expansion of the general practice workforce so that patients have better local access to a range of highly trained health professionals for their needs.
Including the pilots, around 580 clinical pharmacists are working in general practice and following approval to fund more posts, this will increase to over 1,100 pharmacists across over 3,200 GP practices. This means that over 40 per cent of surgeries in the country – a patient population of nearly 34 million patients – will have access to the expertise that clinical pharmacists offer in disease and medicines management, with more to follow later in the programme.
The programme continues to expand the number of pharmacists in general practice further. GP practices and other providers of general practice medical services are invited to apply for funding with the application deadlines as follows:
- Wave 5 – 13 April 2018
- Wave 6 – 20 July 2018
- Wave 7 – 23 November 2018
- Wave 8 – 22 February 2019
This will include funding for three years to recruit, train and establish clinical pharmacists in their general practices for the long term.
Provider organisations can submit applications on an ongoing basis through the clinical pharmacist application portal.
Guidance and example application
Guidance for Applicants – This guidance has been developed to help potential providers who wish to apply for funding through the Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice scheme. It acts as a guide to the implementation of the scheme and aids completion of the application form.
Example Application form – This form gives practices an indication of the question on the application portal and consider their responses.
In line with the guidance, an Enhanced Service (ES) has been developed to allocate the financial offer to providers of primary medical services for employing or gaining access to a clinical pharmacist and/or senior clinical pharmacist through Phase 2 of this programme.
About clinical pharmacists
Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to improve value and outcomes from medicines and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medicines and better access to health checks. The role is pivotal to improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.
Having clinical pharmacists in GP practices means GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions. This helps GPs manage the demands on their time.