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Devon urgent care 'vanguard' details pharmacy involvement

Devon pharmacists could deliver medication reviews in GP practices as part of an NHS England pilot, according to South Devon and Torbay CCG

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An NHS England “vanguard” site in Devon has revealed how pharmacists will become part of a “single team” delivering unplanned care.

South Devon and Torbay clinical commissioning group (CCG) told C+D that local pharmacists will work in GP practices as part of the project, which is one of eight pilot sites that NHS England chose last month to “spearhead” new ways to deliver urgent care. The commissioning body will support the sites from its £200 million transformation fund.

As part of the vanguard – which will be a joint project between the CCG, South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust, Devon LPC, and others – pharmacists will be "integrated into GP practices", said CCG chief clinical officer Dr Nick Roberts.

In order to "build on [the CCG's] efforts to optimise the skills of pharmacists", the CCG will consider using them to participate in minor ailment clinics and review patients' medication, Dr Roberts said.

The vanguard will bring together healthcare organisations that have "traditionally operated as separate entities”, he said. This will build on the “strong working relationships” between GP practices, voluntary care services, independent care services, and others, the CCG said.

“Pharmacy already plays an important role in delivering car to patients. Our vanguard will allow us to accelerate and extend the delivery of services,” he said.

The CCG recently appointed a community pharmacist as a non-executive director on its governing body, and it will work with Devon LPC to ensure the sector is “suitably represented” in the vanguard group, Dr Roberts told C+D.

The CCG has not yet decided how it will recruit pharmacists for the initiative, he said.

In July, two of the eight vanguard sites – including the Devon project – confirmed they will work with pharmacists.

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