RPS in England comments on GP workforce study

Reacting to a study from the Health Foundation today that GP shortages will worsen in England over the next decade, Chair of RPS in England Thorrun Govind said:

“Teams are under pressure right across health and care and this report highlights just how crucial it is that we support the workforce so we can continue looking after patients.

“Professional development, pay and working conditions all have an impact on retention and recruitment and it is vital the Government, NHS and employers work together to get this right. Pharmacists are at the frontline of supporting patient access to primary care and, with the right support, will play a key role in the NHS of the future.

“While the study highlights the positive impact of pharmacists in Primary Care Networks, this must be backed up by more effective and supported implementation, as well as long-term funding, to realise the full potential of these roles across the country.

“There is however seemingly little focus on education reforms which mean that all new pharmacists will be independent prescribers from 2025/26. This could be a game-changer in how we think about workforce planning to deliver patient care and must be backed up by a prescribing budget in community pharmacy and the commissioning of new clinical services.

“With an ageing population and rising demand on the health service, the Government and NHS must use its refresh of the NHS Long-Term Plan to think differently about how we care for people closer to home, reduce health inequalities, and manage long-term conditions in the community.

“If the Government wants to make the most of the whole of the workforce in primary care, it must focus on delivering read-write access to patient records in community pharmacy.”


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