Employing pharmacists in GP practices

The General Practice Forward View committed to over £100m of investment nationally to support an extra 1,500 clinical pharmacists to work in general practice by 2020/21. In August 2015, we sought feedback from patients and the public to determine the levels of support locally for this initiative and to help our GP practices to apply for funding.  

For the East Riding area, Yorkshire Health Partners were successful in the first wave from April 2017 to receive funding for three years to recruit, train and develop clinical pharmacists in their general practices for the long term.

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medications and better access to health checks. The role is pivotal to improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.

Having a clinical pharmacist in GP practices means GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions. This helps GPs manage the demands on their time.

How we have involved
During August 2015, we sought feedback to determine the levels of support locally for this initiative. 

65 people responded to the survey.  They represented GP Patient Groups and the CCG’s Involve Patient and Public Network/

Do you support the use of pharmacists in GP practices?

Reasons for support

24% Medication and health advice
19% Medicines use reviews
16% Support to practice team
11% Minor ailments
7.5% Easing team pressure
7.5% Repeat prescriptions

Reasons for not supporting

  • A feeling that the skills mix in the practice would be better enhanced by having more GPs and nurse practitioner.
  • It is not cost effective to employ a pharmacist compared to a nurse practitioner or other kind of nurse.

The full report is available here.