Today NHS England announced it will more than double its funding for the clinical pharmacists in general practice pilot from £15m to £31m. This will increase the number of pharmacists taking part from the original 250 to 403.
Commenting on the news, RPS English Pharmacy Board Chair Sandra Gidley said:
“This extra investment of £16m on top of the existing £15m is fantastic news. It’s a real vote of confidence in the pharmacy profession and a huge step towards the integration of pharmacists into primary care.
“The dramatic increase in the number of pharmacist posts also reflects the overwhelming response from GPs to this initiative and means more of those who applied will be able to benefit from having a clinical pharmacist on their team. Pharmacists can consult with and treat patients directly, relieving GPs of casework and enabling them to focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions.
“Having pharmacists in GP practices will be also be key to better communication with community pharmacists which will benefit patients as well as encouraging greater liaison and use of the community pharmacy network.
“NHS England’s support in evolving the role of the practice pharmacist will prove enormously valuable to both patients and other professionals working in primary care. More patients will see at first-hand the difference a practice pharmacist can make to their health and more GPs will come to regard them as an essential part of their practice. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
RPS has just produced The ultimate guide for pharmacists working in GP practices for those interested in the role.