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Pharmacists should extend role says Nuffield Trust


Pharmacists should extend role says Nuffield Trust

The NHS should equip pharmacists, nurses community and support staff with additional skills to deliver care in order to increase capacity in the health service, the Nuffield Trust health think-tank has said in a report.

The Nuffield Trust was commissioned by NHS Employers to look at how NHS staffing could be reorganised to support new ways of delivering care to patients.

A key recommendation of the report, 'Reshaping the workforce to deliver the care patients need', includes extending the skills of registered healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and paramedics. "This provides opportunities to manage the growing burden of chronic disease more effectively, could release some savings, and could help bridge some of the workforce gaps that are forecast," said The Nuffield Trust.

Responding to the Nuffield Trust, RPS English Board chair Sandra Gidley supported the proposal, saying: “This report seizes on what we’ve advocated for a long time – that the skills, knowledge and training that pharmacists and other NHS staff have must be better utilised to create better care for patients.

“Pharmacists can help manage the growing burden of chronic disease and bridge some of the workforce gaps in primary care. This is clearly evidenced every day by the excellent work community pharmacists do to support patients and by those taking on new roles in GP surgeries and care homes. What’s vital is that the right professional does the right job, and pharmacists should be involved whenever medicines are involved in patient care.

“The future for all pharmacists lies in greater integration with the primary care team, something we have all wanted for so long, in whatever setting it takes place. The traditional roles of all health professionals are changing to meet the needs of patients and pharmacists are among the pioneers here.”

Click here to read the detail of the report.


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