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Practical learning

One of the biggest gripes between GPs and pharmacists is communication, writes Babir Malik, so what better way to tackle the problem than have them working together early on in the learning process

Richard Watton, a GP from Sheffield, is hoping to offer placements to pre-registration community pharmacists in Sheffield. The surgery is hoping to offer pre-reg students an opportunity to shadow other health professionals and become familiar with their roles.

They plan to design a programme that would enable the learner to track prescriptions from the time they are written by the doctor to when they reach the patient. They would learn about the process of the patient ordering their medication, repeat prescription systems, medication reviews and nomads. They would also attend the multidisciplinary meeting and reflective teaching group and benefit from interdisciplinary learning. It will be a rolling programme of five, one day attachments over five weeks.

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They have had two pre-reg students from the medicines management team at the PCT; they have been attached to the surgery one or two days a week for several months. They have been supervised by the pharmacist from the medicines management team who works with the surgery. The feedback from the pharmacists has been very positive.

This is an excellent idea from a GP who wants to work with and train pharmacy and other healthcare professionals before they qualify. I wish I could have had an opportunity like this when I was training.

A fuller summary of the project is given in the March 2012 edition of the British Journal of General Practice in an essay entitled: "The training capacity of general practice revisited"

Anyone interested can email Richard at [email protected]

Babir Malik is a community pharmacist from South Yorkshire and a Coeliac. He went to Bradford Univeristy and qualified in 2008 and is extremely passionate about pharmacy

What are your thoughts on Mr Watton's placement idea?

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