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'Huge interest' in roles at pharmacist-led GP practice

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Three pharmacists and two pharmacy technicians have already started at the surgery
Three pharmacists and two pharmacy technicians have already started at the surgery

A GP surgery which will be run by pharmacists has seen "huge interest" from pharmacists looking to work there, C+D has learned.

Graham Stretch, practice pharmacist and director of non-medical clinical services at the west London-based medical care provider The Argyle Health Group, told C+D the group had acquired a GP practice in the Isleworth area, which it intends to run as a “pharmacy-led surgery”.

“The practice is currently using locum GPs. We want to replace the locums with five pharmacists, with a view to [setting up] a pharmacy-led practice, and equity share for successful pharmacists and pharmacy technicians,” Mr Stretch told C+D last week (August 3).

Routine surgery work would be conducted by five independent prescriber pharmacists – “ideally with specialisms” – alongside two GPs and “several technicians”, he explained.

Acute GP shortage

“The shortage of GPs is particularly acute in this practice, and actually we can do a lot with our experienced pharmacists,” Mr Stretch said.

"There is always plenty of work for the GPs," Mr Stretch said. "The rest of the work would be done by pharmacists."

"I know we can do a good job," he added. "It will be interesting to see."

The job advert, posted last month, asks for “experienced generalist pharmacist practitioners” and “pharmacist specialists in respiratory, cardiac and diabetes management”, to work in the Ealing/Isleworth area.

Three pharmacists and two pharmacy technicians are due to start next week, Dr Stretch added.

Amendment: This article was amended on 10 August at the request of Dr Stretch.

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8 Comments
Question: 
Would you consider applying for one of the positions?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I won't be a patient there, and I'll make sure none of my family will register as a patient there either. This is profits before patients, when you go to your GP, you don't mean to see a cheaper version of a real medical practitioner. 

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

There are some excellent well trained and knowledgeable Pharmacist Advanced Practitioners who are able to diagnose and treat as good as a GP.  

I can tell you are not a clinical professional, hence you will not understand

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Something new is very interesting indeed. I really hope this is kept reported on, I believe many people and companies on here would also be highly interested to hear how effective this becomes. We could be looking at a new standard model if it is successful?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

How surprising given the tremendous conditions currently witnessed in community pharmacy.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

An interesting idea and I wish them well. I am only surprised some of the multiples haven't shown an interest

A Hussain, Senior Management

Sounds like a good idea.  Interested to hear how it works out.

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

It would be good to keep to report on this development since could be franchised if need be since many failing surgeries all around the country especially if save money and show Gp's and Pharmacists can work together as  equal partnership

New ideas required 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Nice idea but no good for 97% of us who are not prescribers. Shame that our skills are not easily converted to give the NHS what it seems to need.  Graduates with good qualifications and a willingness to adapt since community pharmacy is being run into the ground.

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