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MP presses minister to disclose practice pharmacist numbers

The shadow health secretary has pressed pharmacy minister David Mowat on how the practice pharmacist scheme is progressing.

In a written question, which Mr Mowat answered last week (November 16), Leicester South MP Mr Ashworth asked how many pharmacists have been recruited by NHS England since it launched  a pilot in July 2015.

Mr Mowat said a total of 491 pharmacists have already been placed across the country. NHS England has since confirmed to C+D that this includes 56 pharmacists working part-time.

The commissioner told C+D it is “pleased” with the programme's progress and hopes to have a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2021.

Earlier this year, NHS England pledged to spend more than £112 million recruiting 1,500 practice pharmacists, enabling every GP surgery to have access to one.

The Department of Health (DH) said that the 491 pharmacists recruited so far are working in 658 GP practices across 89 pilot sites.

The DH added that it "now wants to drive forward real change", following the commitment it made to place more pharmacists in GP practices in the GP Forward View earlier this year.

Listen to C+D’s podcast, in which practice pharmacist Antonio Monachello describes how the role was a “step into the unknown”:

Would you consider working in a GP practice?

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