GPs have said an initiative to employ clinical pharmacists in surgeries would free up their time and provide a “better service to patients”.
During C+D's Twitter chat on NHS England’s £15 million commitment to put 250 pharmacists into general practices, contributing GPs said they would be applying to take part in the scheme. The pilot will involve one senior pharmacist and five clinical pharmacists placed in pilot sites across England for three years.
The doctors – including James Cope of Ivybridge Medical Practice in Devon, and Michael Holmes of Haxby Medical Group in Yorkshire – said working with local pharmacists had convinced them of the benefits of collaborative working.
@CandDSamuel already working on the bid, also trying to interest researchers to look evaluation, for us the model has already been proven1/2— jgcope (@jgcope) July 16, 2015
"A matron would be more useful"
But some GPs were less positive about the plans. East London GP Jonathon Thomlinson said his practice would employ a “matron” over a pharmacist.
Yorkshire GP Dr Dominic Patterson said employing a clinical pharmacist would be "costly" for practices who did not need them.
But the “great” project could work for other practices, especially those who were struggling to recruit GPs, he added.
The Royal College of General Practitioners – which first called for more practice pharmacists in March alongside the RPS – said the scheme had received a warm response from members.