Overview of GP pharmacists programme
In 2018 QHS was successful in an NHS England bid to recruit clinical pharmacists to become part of the general practice team.
QHS has employed eight clinical pharmacists who have been posted across 14 GP practices in north Southwark. The roles have been established in partnership with NHSE‘s education and training partners, providing pathways to support the pharmacists to develop as primary care clinicians and independent prescribers within practices across IHL.
Purpose of programme
Clinical pharmacists are highly trained experts in medicines and as part of the GP Forward View will be helping to reduce demand on GP practices and supporting the management of patients with long term conditions.
The aim is to reduce demand on GPs and more importantly improve the quality and safety of prescribing for patients by providing medicines reviews for patients. The clinical pharmacists will also be trained to become prescribers to run clinics for people with long term conditions such as asthma.
This programme of work also aims to improve links with community pharmacists and improve communication and ensure a more seamless transfer between the hospital and community.
The clinical pharmacists will be working within the four neighbourhoods in north Southwark (Borough, Walworth, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe).
What have we done so far?
- Pharmacists have had a thorough induction in general practice so that they were able to integrate with their practice teams and across QHS. Their focus is currently to support practices with medicines reviews for patients.
- We have embedded eight clinical pharmacists who are now working across all five of our neigbourhoods (Bermondsey, Rotherhite, South Walworth, Walworth Triangle and Borough).
- Clinical pharmacists are working within our care home service.
- Clinical pharmacists have delivered high level medication reviews in patient facing clinics in GP practices.
- Developed a QHS Medication Review Template on EMIS, enabling NHS England KPI data collection
- Supported GP practices with prescribing policy work and CQC inspections.
What difference has this made?
Positive feedback has been received from GP practices regarding GP Pharmacists.
What are our plans for the future?
QHS are exploring plans to increase the number of GP pharmacists in 2019/ 2020. We are developing plans for Primary Care Network (PCN).
All pharmacists will be qualified to prescribe independently with the aim of running long-term condition clinics.
Pharmacists will be upskilled to deliver more services within practices such as annual flu vaccinations and home visits.
Pharmacists are building a series of high quality QHS prescribing policies to support member practices.