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MP presses minister to disclose practice pharmacist numbers

Jonathan Ashworth asked David Mowat how many clinical pharmacists have been recruited so far

The shadow health secretary has pressed pharmacy minister David Mowat on how the practice pharmacist scheme is progressing.

In a written question, which Mr Mowat answered last week (November 16), Leicester South MP Mr Ashworth asked how many pharmacists have been recruited by NHS England since it launched  a pilot in July 2015.

Mr Mowat said a total of 491 pharmacists have already been placed across the country. NHS England has since confirmed to C+D that this includes 56 pharmacists working part-time.

The commissioner told C+D it is “pleased” with the programme's progress and hopes to have a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2021.

Earlier this year, NHS England pledged to spend more than £112 million recruiting 1,500 practice pharmacists, enabling every GP surgery to have access to one.

The Department of Health (DH) said that the 491 pharmacists recruited so far are working in 658 GP practices across 89 pilot sites.

The DH added that it "now wants to drive forward real change", following the commitment it made to place more pharmacists in GP practices in the GP Forward View earlier this year.

Listen to C+D’s podcast, in which practice pharmacist Antonio Monachello describes how the role was a “step into the unknown”:

Would you consider working in a GP practice?

Antonio Lex, Primary care pharmacist

This is so typical of our profession. I am being flamed for actually doing well for myself? I went out there and took some intitaive and bargained my position. As a prescriber you should not be offered anything less than band 8a. Band 7 is normally practice pharmacist level without an IP qualification.

Valentine Trodd you strike me as a troll? No my dad does not run my practice lol. My parents dont even work in healthcare.

Where did I say I am on my way to becoming a partner? I said potentially.

No, there is no need for myself to prove anything to anyone on this website. I have nothing obtain from lieing. Those 4days are full time (37.5hours) a week. I am just putting across my point of view that I think is a great role and their is oppourtunity out there.

​Granted more tend to be in the 40-50k range. Locum roles are £30-35/hour and you can do the NHS 111 work etc. You can also set up your own botox clinics etc





Antonio Lex, Primary care pharmacist

Certainly not a dead end job. Its not that you are doing the doctors work at all. I act as a prescribing advisor to all surgery staff and patients, run an anticoagulant clinic, handle all medication related triage calls, help to reduce the drug budget etc. I am training as a prescriber funded by themselves and work monday to thursday for £60k. Potentially I could become a partner in future. Most presribing roles in surgerys are band 8a which isnt bad and its easy to move over into CCG work or a advisory role in big pharma. Best career move I ever made, with lots of autonomy.

If anyone is a pharmacist who didnt make med school then this isnt the route for you as you will feel inferior. If that is the case then go to med school as life is too short. Never interested me personally. 

Cheryl Clennett, Community pharmacist

I obviously live in the wrong part of the country, Low band 7 is the highest you are being offered in the South East with no assurance of anything more than a months notice if they change their mind. I agree that 8 years ago when I qualified as an independent prescriber there was the jobs on offer that Antonio talks about but this is no longer the case.

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Can you expand on your last paragraph. Some of us did consider Medicine many years ago, in the 80s! and hence are too old for medicine now! Why would we feel inferior? Seeing kiddies half our age doing something we think we could do better?? A very interesting paragraph, as I was about to apply for the prescribing course. Now, not so sure! Please explain Mr Lex. 

Cheryl Clennett, Community pharmacist

Angela don't be put off applying for the precribing course, its a natural development of our role and will be very useful in the future. I moved over to Public Health and we are very interested in using IPs in the future.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

It's not your dad running the practice is it?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I just had view of one IP surgery contract, £37k pro rata for 37.5 hours. Antonio Lex, earning £60k while training, working just 4 days and becoming a partner (of what?), I would welcome some proof of what you told us, so the rest of us can use your example as a bargaining point.

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Sounds like a tall story regarding salary but as long as he's happy I guess.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

You work 4 days a week and earn £60k a year as a practice pharmacist? Or is that pro-rata? Forgive me, but I find that very hard to believe. I've seen jobs advertised in the £35-45k range...

Graham Stretch, Primary care pharmacist

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager


Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I think this is a dead end job suited only for those pharmacists who failed entry to medical schools and want to be second class doctors. I think of pharmacists as independent professionals, but not when you become a practice pharmacist, you will then become a worker supplementary to the medical professionals.

S Pessina, Pharmacist Director

I think the term you are looking for is Dr's Lackey .

Pharmacy is a separate profession, why would you want one doing  GP's tasks ???

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Anyone have any views on what's going to happen a year or two down the line when the dept starts pulling the plug on subsidising the salaries? Will the GPs dip into their own pockets to fund a pharmacist?

Nat Mitchell, Community pharmacist

That has hit the nail on the head. They won't want to fund it themselves. And why would they if they've been given a pet pharmacist for free?!

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

Plenty of jobs in Cumbria. Show some imagination and relocate rather than selling out!

Cheryl Clennett, Community pharmacist

Have done it in the past but the current salary being offered is less than a newly qualified pharmacist in the community. And they want me to prescribe.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Not according to Antonio Lex above, he/she's earning 60k for 4 days work and on the way to being a partner... apparently.

Job of the week

Pre-registration Pharmacists 2021
London (South), London (Greater)
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