Patients welcome pharmacists in GP surgeries

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Patients welcome pharmacists in GP surgeries

As increased funding for surgery-based clinical pharmacists is announced, a survey from the Patients Association and the Primary Care Pharmacy Association has shown that patients have positive views towards pharmacists working in GP practices, with medication reviews seen as a particular benefit.

The survey, which was carried out over this summer, had over 300 responses and was supported by the NHS England Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot and similar schemes in Wales and Northern Ireland. Almost 80 per cent of patients said they welcomed the addition of a pharmacist, 80 per cent said that this have them greater access to services, and 70 per cent said that after speaking to a pharmacist they no longer felt the need for an appointment with the GP.

The survey highlighted that more needs to be done to help patients and carers understand the role and function of clinical pharmacists, as well as their qualifications and competencies, in order to provide reassurance that they can provide the correct advice.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “We have undertaken this project to better understand patients' views so that they can have a greater say in their treatment and care at their General Practice to have an opportunity to influence change.” 

Liz Butterfield, chair of The Primary Care Pharmacy Association, said: “The Primary Care Pharmacy Association is delighted with the findings of this survey which clearly shows that patients value the opportunity to discuss their medicines and care with practice-based pharmacists without feeling the need for a GP appointment.”

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