GP Surgeries

Put pharmacists in GP surgeries. By working more closely together,
pharmacists and GPs can provide better, safer and more affordable patient care.

 

Right now, hospital patients across Britain benefit from the expertise of pharmacists. It’s time primary care patients had access to the same expertise.

In partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners, we’re calling on the NHS to support stronger relationships between  pharmacists and GP surgeries.

With a shortfall in GP and nurse numbers, pharmacists should step in to ensure better primary patient care.

Every day, GP surgeries deal with dozens of medicine-related queries and problems. An on-site pharmacist would manage these, helping to reduce GP workload.

A pharmacist would liaise with hospitals, community pharmacies and care homes. They would also help reduce medication errors and waste.

In 2015, the NHS in England launched the GP Practice Pilot – a £31m scheme to fund, recruit and employ clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries. This has now been extended across Great Britain.

Thanks to the pilot, over seven million patients now benefit from access to a clinical pharmacist, and if successful, the pilot will strengthen the case for pharmacists in GP surgeries.

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In response to a question about professional autonomy for pharmacists within the practice team, Professor Nigel Mathers, Royal College of General Practioners (RCGP) Honorary Secretary said:

“This joint initiative between the RCGP and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) isn’t about pharmacists being employed by GPs - it is about pharmacists being employed by practices, much in the same way that practice nurses and salaried GPs are.

"Pharmacists working within a primary health care team will have autonomous clinical responsibility for patients, access to their own membership body and their own indemnity arrangements.

"It is a joint endeavour between our two professions to utilise our distinct skills in the best interests of our patients, and the wider practice team.”

Jenny Aston, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Chair, RCGP General Practice Foundation Nursing Group: 

“When the concept of General Practice Nurses was introduced, there was uncertainty amongst GPs, nurses and patients about how our role would be implemented, and the tasks we would be performing – now, it’s hard to imagine a GP surgery without GP nurses. Many surgeries are expanding their teams by employing Healthcare Assistants.

We are skilled healthcare professionals and we have become highly trusted members of the practice team. We are performing more and more activities in general practice, including managing the care of our patients with long term conditions. An increasing number of Advanced Nurse Practitioners are also seeing acute presentations and prescribing or referring patients.

Pharmacists will be a welcome addition to the practice team and I look forward to working together and using our distinct but complementary skills to effectively deliver high quality and safe care to our patients.”

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association (BMA) GP committee chairman, said:

"Placing more pharmacists into GP practice teams is a move the BMA has been advocating for some time."