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126 pre-regs to be recruited to NHS England's GP pharmacist scheme

The pre-regs will start their GP practice placements in July and August 2019
The pre-regs will start their GP practice placements in July and August 2019

Up to 126 training places have been reserved for pre-registration pharmacists to join NHS England’s “clinical pharmacist” programme, Health Education England has told C+D.

NHS England has already recruited more than 1,100 pharmacists to GP practices under the scheme, which it launched in 2015.

The trainees will be employed by community pharmacies or NHS trusts and will undertake three or six-month placements in general practices across England, HEE explained yesterday (May 8).

Pre-regs will be recruited via HEE’s centralised system – the national pre-registration pharmacist recruitment scheme – with applications opening on June 6, ready for trainees to start their placements in July and August 2019, it added.

Commenting on Twitter, NHS England clinical lead Ravi Sharma said the addition of pre-regs to the national pilot is “very good news”.

Have you considered a role as a practice pharmacist? Watch Ravi Sharma share his top tips for applying for a role in a GP surgery.

20 Comments
Question: 
Would you consider a GP pharmacy role?

Alastair Carmichael, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Having worked in practice myself for a few years as well as many years in Area Management etc I can only see huge benefits for both patient and Pharmacy.

Jonny - since you qualified in 1979 you are obviously out of touch with the new world and maybe time to retire??

Andy Burrells, Community pharmacist

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

When one books an appointment at the surgery, and given the choice, would one choose a person who failed to get into medical schools or a properly qualified doctor?

Boom Shakalaka, Locum pharmacist

One would expect no better from an eejit.

C A, Community pharmacist

Have you tried getting an appointment with a doctor lately? 

As a patient would you like a telephone appointment with the doctor in June or a face to face with a nurse/pharmacist within a week?

Dave Downham, Manager

...or a face to face with a pharmacist at the time of your convenience at any community pharmacy

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Yes, same day appointments, and forcing or coercing patients to pick failed medical school entrants is not good medicine either. It only satisfies your ego and others who want to play doctor. 

Richard Binns, Primary care pharmacist

funny, my experience of GP Practice pharmacy is taking the 200+ medication queries/ clinical letters a day away from the GPs, freeing up GP time and hence increasing patient access to  GP appointments.

Must re-evaluate things, can't be missing out on my chance to 'play Dr'.

Seroiusly though I dont understand the level of negitivity from community pharmacists towards their colleagues in GP roles,

perhaps a more productive way to the view the situation, would be to consider the apparent falling rates/salaries & deterioating workplace conditions, evidently caused by the oversupply of pharmacists looking for work.

Is the rellocation of a large chunk of these pharmacists to another sector, not beneficial with regards to reducing the errosion of the individual pharmacists earning potential?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Richard, some (or many) may want to play second rate clinicians, I wouldn’t be visiting any GP pharmacists any time soon. I prefer a properly trained doctor when I phone up for an appointment. Also, the GP pharmacists are earning a lot less than many pharmacists, so apart from their egos, what else does that job role satisfy?

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

I actually agree with you for once. I don’t see why we have to ‘play Dr’ for far less pay than them. I did pharmacy because I didn’t want to be a Dr though, not because I tried to get into med school and failed. There are plenty of Drs who had to go abroad to complete their studies. Your Dr may well be one them - be careful. 

A B, Community pharmacist

I don't think the role of a GP pharmacist (or whatver you want to call them) is what you are describing Jonny, or at least it shouldn't be their role.

The ones I have contact with don't see many (if any) patients who are unwell on the day. They see patients who have pre-booked appointments having been referred by the GP or nurse. They also deal with stuff the GPs have been saying for years "why do we need to do be doing this?". This would include things like: ordering routine blood tests, implementing cross patient med changes e.g. moving patients to cheaper drugs, processing discharge summaries/ clinic letters and referring to a medic when needed.

You might want to at least speak to a few or visit one before making assumptions that they are failed Drs. Some may do the job for enjoyment rather than money.

I do accept there may be times, if not now then in the future, that GPs may try to use pharmacists inappropriately to avoid having to employ more Drs. But they tend to do this using independant nurse prescribers rather than pharmacists from my experience.

, Locum pharmacist

Believe it or not some people actually wanted to be pharmacists and are happy to develop and learn more as we go along just as doctors and nurses learn about drugs as part of their professional development to prescribe drugs...

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

The “just as doctors” bit says it all.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Good thing about being an area manager/operations manager - you don't actually have to be a pharmacist, so it absolves you of any requirement to know what you are talking about

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Adam, I qualified in 1979. And you?

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

I'm guessing area/operations manager training doesn't include shadowing of and supervision by a qualified mentor like a professional role does...

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Qualified in 1979, also been a pre-reg tutor amongst other things. I have always managed to achieve good commercial results without stretching my pharmacists mental abilities. I probably know more about pharmacy than you. 

, Community pharmacist

With the experience your ripe old age has given you I am sure you understand the need to develop the role of a Pharmacist. Many of us didn't study for 5 years just to spend the day accuracy checking but to actually implement our clinical knowledge (much like hospital pharmacists). This isn't about 'trying to be a doctor' it's about implementing the knowledge and skills we already have and develop them further. You're either a troll, not really a pharmacist, a failed medic or still living in 1979.

Beta Blocker, Primary care pharmacist

My guess is failed medic...

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Bring it on! #PharmacyQuiz #DrugTariffRound

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