This site is intended for health professionals only

Hunt announces £7.5m for integration of community pharmacists with GPs


22 June 2015

Share this story:

This year £7.5 million of the primary care infrastructure fund will be spent on pharmacies, so they can better support practices, Hunt announced today at a conference in south London.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state, reinforced his plans for seven-day care and said this can be delivered by “better use of pharmacies”.

This year £7.5 million of the primary care infrastructure fund will be spent on pharmacies, so they can better support practices, Hunt announced today at a conference in south London.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state, reinforced his plans for seven-day care and said this can be delivered by “better use of pharmacies”.

“As we roll out the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund to the whole country, I can today announce that £7.5 million of the primary care infrastructure fund for this year will be used to support community pharmacists with training and appropriate tools.”

He said that these new ways of working offer “great potential” but what won’t work is a return to top-down direction from the Department on Health.

“In Brighton 16 GP practices are working with local pharmacies to create four primary care clusters, offering evening or weekend appointments with a GP or pharmacist and giving the pharmacist equal access to GP records.

Dr Jonathan Serjeant from Brighton says the pilot has been a fantastic opportunity for practices to learn to work together, reaching out into their community to work with pharmacists.

Hunt also announced that indicators of GPs’ quality of care will be assessed, with the results forming a ‘scorecard’ on GP surgeries, which the government may publish online.

First, there will be a review to assess if there are ‘sufficiently developed’ indicators to compare GP practices, to help patients and carers gauge their quality of care and help practices improve quality. This will be completed by September.

Then, the government may use this review to develop a ‘scorecard’ of indicators for each GP practice, to be published on the MyNHS website.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive at the Health Foundation, who is leading this project, said: “Improving quality of care for patients unites all people working in health care. Good data on quality is the cornerstone to making improvements.

“We look forward to carrying out this stock-take with others, and assessing how indicators on the quality of primary care might be made better to support those in the NHS make the changes they can see are needed.”

Hunt also reinforced his plans for a seven-day NHS, and said that evidence shows that Sunday is the second busiest day in A&E, and Hunt said that this needs to be addressed collectively, not just to help hospitals but also to respond to busy working families.

He also pledged 10,000 extra primary care staff, including 5,000 GPs, as well as practice nurses, district nurses and pharmacists. To encourage recruitment there will be a national marketing campaign, led by the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association, to encourage medical students to join general practice.

Want news like this straight to your inbox?

Related news

Data NHS workforce
MPs vote against greater transparency for workforce data
MPs have voted against amending the Health and Care Bill to grant greater transparency around...
Services need more resources to support new NICE guidance for depression
New NICE draft guidance has recommended that GPs do not routinely offer patients with ‘less...