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Pharmacists to solve GP workload

Pharmacists to solve GP workload

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Pharmacists can be used to decrease the GP workload claims a report published today.

The Pharmacists and General Practice: A practical and timely part of solving the primary care workload and workforce crisis highlights how to maximise the use of pharmacy services in order to alleviate the pressures on GPs.

The report, conducted by NHS Alliance and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) highlights how pharmacists are currently seen within the NHS, why they aren’t used as a widespread source of medical advice as well as how these barriers could be overcome.

The report also contains excerpts from a round table event held with GPs on the  September 30 in which attendees stipulated that “most GPs have no idea pharmacists can work in GP practices.” It was suggested that this was partially due to the fact that GPs and pharmacists don’t train together.

Patients also appreciated the pharmacists presence within general practices, stating that they have a “more approachable, patient-focused communications style”, and expressed an appreciation for their longer and more frequently available appointments.

Mark Robinson, medicines optimisation lead at NHS Alliance, said: “Primary care is facing an immediate crisis with up to 500 GP practices at risk of closure due to an ageing workforce, as well as recruitment and retention issues.

“The round table clearly showed that pharmacists can help offer a practical and timely solution, filling the workforce gap and reducing pressures on general practice. And, in the cases where pharmacists have already been integrated into general practice, they have helped to drive significant improvements in care provision and working patterns.”

David Branford RPS English Board Chair said: “I hugely welcome this support from NHS Alliance to encourage greater clinical involvement of pharmacists with GPs. The skill set of pharmacists and their focus on medicines is very complimentary to those of GPs.

“The RPS has advocated closer working, and pharmacists becoming an integral part of the GP team, for many years, and the model advocated by NHS Alliance of the pharmacist being a part of and working in the GP practice is one of a range of models that enable that.”

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