Pilot Overview

As you know, the Alliance was successful in obtaining NHS England funding to test the role of Clinical Pharmacists working within General Practice. Key objectives of the pilot are to:

• support general practitioners by providing additional capacity;

• Utilise the specialist knowledge and skills of pharmacists within the overall practice team.

Key measures of the pilot’s success will be around improved outcomes for patients, and better access to care.

Pharmacists will be able to see patients who are seeking advice on their medications, have an issue regarding a repeat prescription or be in need of a medication review. Alternatively, they might help patients who need assistance to develop their self-management skills, particularly for long term conditions such as COPD, diabetes and hypertension, or who do not currently purchase medicines over the counter and instead use GP services when they have a minor ailment.

As part of the pilot, the pharmacist team will be supported by CPPE (Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education) who will provide on-going training and mentorship over their first 18 months of the programme.

The pilot will last for 4 years with the hope that practices will continue with the role once the pilot ends, at which point the pharmacist will be firmly embedded within the practice team. To facilitate this essential process, practices will be supported with in-practice development sessions, the intention of which is to aid understanding of the contribution pharmacists can make to General Practice and how their role differs from, but complements, existing members of the team.


Progress update

There are 15 practices signed up to the initiative, and they will be supported by a team of five WTE Clinical Pharmacists and one Senior Clinical Pharmacist. Recruitment is nearing completion; all positions bar one Clinical Pharmacist have now been filled and we are continuing to work on the remaining vacancy.

The first wave of pharmacists will be in practices from early June, having completed a week’s residential induction course at the end of May. This will help those pharmacists who haven’t previously worked in General Practice to make the transition, and help the development of a supportive team; many of the team have, however, prior experience in the sector which will enable them to hit the ground running. The remaining pharmacists will be in post by August, and all pharmacists will achieve Independent Prescriber status over their first twelve months. We’re really looking forward to the team starting work and we’re sure you’ll make them feel very welcome.

We are currently working with practices to plan dates for when the pharmacists will start, along with providing support for NHS England KPI baseline data submissions.

For further information, please contact Robin Blythe – Contract Delivery Manager at [email protected]