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126 pharmacists express interest in GP surgery employment

Ravi Sharma: PCPA is “very optimistic” about NHS England’s funding plans

Ravi Sharma, chair of the Primary Care Pharmacists’ Association group for aspiring practice-based pharmacists, says it has received a “really good uptake”


A group set up for pharmacists interested in working in GP practices has attracted more than 120 members in its first four months.

The Primary Care Pharmacists’ Association (PCPA) set up the group in March, when the Royal Pharmaceutical Society first announced plans for GP practices to employ an “army” of pharmacists. NHS England committed £15 million earlier this month to partially fund 250 clinical pharmacists in practices for three years.

The PCPA told C+D that it had received “a really good uptake” for the group, which now had 126 members. The group – set up to provide “mentorship and leadership development” to interested pharmacists was currently looking to recruit regional representatives from across the UK, it said.

“We welcome anyone who wants to find out more about the role and what it takes. It could be community pharmacists [or] established hospital pharmacists,” group chair Ravi Sharma told C+D.

The organisation was “very optimistic” about NHS England’s funding announcement, because it meant “everyone is talking about pharmacy at a national level”, said Mr Sharma. “There is great scope for us to link GPs and community pharmacy more effectively,” he said.

Mr Sharma stressed that the practice pharmacist role was “not the only way forward” for the sector and there were “lots of opportunities for pharmacists” nationally.

The PCPA said it was producing an information pack for GP surgeries considering employing a pharmacist, which would “shortly” be available on the organisation's website. Mr Sharma added that the organisation was also planning an event about practice-based pharmacists next spring.

All qualified pharmacists, technicians and pre-registration pharmacists can join the group for free by filling out a short survey.



Would you work in a GP surgery?

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N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I was just wondering if anyone has access to any data showing how many GPs have applied for this scheme. Without the GPs applying for the scheme, it would not matter how many Pharmacists have applied !!!

John Smith, Locum pharmacist

What a silly headline! I'm sure that out of 40,000 plus pharmacists there is a lot more than a mere 126 who are interested in working in surgeries. Being the cynical creature that I am, I would suggest that the headline is an an attempt to conceal the strong interest that exists amongst pharmacists for this new avenue of employment.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

What is wrong with 126 pharmacists getting together as a members group with the common aim of supporting a primary care project, which could result in new knowledge, experience and skills for them as health professionals, a possible new career path and raising awareness of what pharmacists' capabilities? There are many pharmacists that will always do things the same way and as a consequence will always get the same result. No change; no progress, no optimism. There is much to much negativity. I'm with the optimists on this one, having already seen that pharmacists employed by GPs can successfully contribute to good patient care in general medical practice.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""What is wrong with 126 pharmacists getting together as a members group"""" ........ Look at the C&D poll on the right hand side, and then decide if we need this group-ism in our sector any more than what we already have??? --- Are there too many pharmacy bodies? Yes 89% No 11% Total votes: 192

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

""""No change; no progress, no optimism"""" ....... What makes you think that ??? Just because the criticism you are getting is against your thinking does not mean it is rubbish !!! We need Change, we want to progress and of course we will be optimistic, but all these on our terms and not on dictatorship of the powers may be. By accepting such schemes we will be de-valuing our profession. You may give it a colour of Clinical stuff, but the actual role does not involve great clinical expertise at all. You are degrading yourself to a senior technician/ clerk role by accepting to work in this specific role. Why the GPs can't share patient details with community pharmacists on demand ?? Why you need a Pharmacist in the GP surgery to get these details?? What is that all about SCR we are talking about?? We all want to progress in the right direction both professionally and in terms of MONETARY GAINS. You can't separate them.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

You are absolutely right. Try convincing all other leadership bodies representing our sector !!! It's just so annoying that you see some funding trickling (however meagre it is) you tend to jump on to it and form an association to grab the most of it !!! Tomorrow there will be another service announced from DOH and we will create one more group, is that right??? so on and so forth. B.A. i have seen your profile & expertise of handling (counselling on) GP & Pharmacy (in the surgery !!!) relations, so I feel what you think is not always right.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Sorry, forgot to add. We already have enough organisations in our sector, why create one more ??? RPS is producing some guidance on Practice Pharmacists, some other organisation (NPA ???) is producing documents, PSNC is producing some documents etc. etc. and now PCPA is producing some more guidance !!!! Are we a profession of guidance producers and readers, and not just follow one simple process ???

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Sheep lead by Sheep...

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

""""126 pharmacists express interest in GP surgery employment"""" ....... & ....... """The PCPA told C+D that it had received “a really good uptake” for the group, which now had 126 members."""" ..... This is a bit confusing and conflicting. First of all, PCPA is just a private organisation created by a private person. Second, the recruitment process will be undertaken by NHSE/ DoH and no one else. So, 126 members of PCPA does not mean only 126 Pharmacists have expressed interest nor the membership of PCPA guarantee you an position. Am I missing something here ???

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