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GPs warn on funding for clinical pharmacists in general practice scheme

Will GPs pay for the clinical pharmacists in general practice scheme when its funding ends?


A review of the General practice forward view policy has warned that the future of NHS England’s clinical pharmacists in general practice scheme may be in doubt.


The scheme has been well received by GPs. The review published by the Royal College of General Practice (RCGP) says that feedback from GPs has been ‘incredibly’ positive about the contribution pharmacists make in general practice.


It also predicts 2,000 clinical pharmacists will be working in general practice by 2020/21.


However, the college’s review warns that many practices are concerned that they will not be able to afford to continue to employ their pharmacists when the scheme’s non-recurrent funding ends.


Early indications from the scheme suggest they can have a significant impact on GP workload and efficiency, particularly in relation to medicines management and supporting patients with polypharmacy. It can also increase the capacity of general practice to meet patient demand.


The RCGP review argues that the current limit of one clinical pharmacist per 30,000 general practice patients should be changed to increase the availability of pharmacists.


Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) officials in England has published a briefing designed to persuade sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) of the benefits of making more use of pharmacists and pharmacy teams.


The RPS says improved pharmaceutical care in care homes when patients move from one care provider to another can boost medicines safety, cut hospital admissions and contribute to supporting end-of-life care.


Further information

RCGP: GP forward view assessment of progress: year 2

RPS: RPS England champions pharmacists working with care homes to STPs