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.