This forms part of a £100 million drive to support general practice and provide patients with more convenient access to care. The scheme will see 1,500 clinical pharmacists working in general practice in England by 2020/21. This is in addition to over 490 clinical pharmacists already working across 650 practices as part of a pilot launched in July 2015.
Pharmacists are helping patient concerns and relieving GPs’ workload by assisting in areas such as blood pressure checks and other health checks, and supporting people who are taking multiple medications.
Dr Arvind Madan, GP and NHS England director of primary care, said: “The clinical pharmacist programme is a clear win-win for patients and GPS. The pilots have shown GP workload to be eased while patients have the convenience of being seen by the right professional in a more timely way. The expansion of the programme today is great news for everyone.”
The programme is already underway in Norwich, with three clinical pharmacists working across give surgeries in the city. Many are saying it has been a significant boost to patient care.
John Higgins of Norwich Practices Health Centre commented: “It has been a big success so far. One of the major successes is that patients enjoy seeing us face-to-face; they ring to thank us afterwards.”
“If a GP is unsure about anything they can send me a note and I will do the prescription via the electronic prescription service within 10 minutes.”
Norwich GP Dr Christ Dent echoed this, saying: “Clinical pharmacists have added a whole new dimension to patient care by improving the quality and safety of prescribing and helping us make better use of resources.”