Pharmacists funded to work in care homes in England

180 new roles for pharmacists and 60 for pharmacy technicians funded by Pharmacy Integration Fund

Responding NHS England’s announcement it will fund 180 pharmacists and 60 pharmacy technicians to work in care homes RPS England Board Chair Sandra Gidley said:

““Our overstretched NHS is crying out for solutions and this one is bang on target.

“Concerns about the fact that too many care home residents take too many medicines which do them more harm than good were the driving force behind our care homes campaign which began in 2016. 

“This significant investment of £20m by NHS England from the Pharmacy Integration Fund helps meet those concerns and recognises that pharmacy teams can provide better health outcomes for care home residents, improve efficiency and reduce medicines waste. 

“Pharmacists have long played a vital role in care homes, and the work done by the care home vanguards has been outstanding. This new move will continue the greater integration of pharmacists across primary and community settings to improve clinical outcomes and we know that colleagues will welcome the opportunity to provide more direct patient care.

“This is a great start and we’d encourage NHS England go even further and give pharmacists overall responsibility for medicines and their use in care homes.  This will drive up standards of patient safety and cut the estimated annual £24 million of medicines wasted in care homes every year.”

The pharmacists and technicians will be employed by providers who will be commissioned by the lead CCG to work across the care home population where there is most need. This means there are opportunities for pharmacists from all sectors to get involved.  Recruitment will start in April with pharmacists in post by early Summer, supported by a training programme to enable all those in post to become independent prescribers.

For more information on these roles take a look at our Ultimate guide to working in care homes