A House of Lords committee inquiry into the long-term sustainability of the NHS and social care has recognised a ‘clear case’ for enabling other healthcare professionals, including community pharmacists, to better support the work of GPs.
Publishing its report earlier this month, the Committee commented on the stresses facing health and social care and the need to ensure services are delivered in the most appropriate settings.
Giving evidence to the committee in November last year, Sandra Gidley, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, highlighted the important role of pharmacists in not only dispensing medicines but also prescribing and performing medicines use reviews, which the Committee has recognised can reduce pressure on GPs. She also reiterated calls for improved IT systems to enhance patient care, such as enabling pharmacists and other health professionals to have read/write access to the fuller patient record, as well as developing the capability for electronic referrals.
The benefits of pharmacy teams working in GP surgeries were also highlighted in a recent visit by the Pharmacy Minister, David Mowat, to practice pharmacists and GPs in Ealing.