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London PCN develops tailored community pharmacist role

Graham Stretch: The role could be introduced by other PCNs

South Central Ealing primary care network (PCN) has developed a new PCN community pharmacist role that could rolled out by other networks, a PCN clinical director has told C+D.

The PCN community pharmacist role is fully funded through the PCN Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) ans has been confimed as an "appropriate" use of funding by NHS England and Improvement, Graham Stretch, clinical director of Brentworth PCN in west London, told C+D last week (June 9).

Mr Stretch told C+D he believes the role could be a good fit for other PCNs across the country.

“I think it is a transferrable model”, Mr Stretch said. “I'm often asked by both GPs and community pharmacists how we can work together. This is one way."

“We see our first appointment [of the role] very much as a pilot and will work with academics to ensure it is properly evaluated,” Mr Stretch said.

He added that the new role has already generated interest from other PCN clinical directors “nationally”.

The role

The PCN community pharmacist will be jointly employed for as long as the PCN is in operation – expected to be a minimum of two years – by two Ealing pharmacies, according to a job advert for the role seen by C+D.

They will carry out structured medication reviews (SMRs) and the enhanced health in care homes specification in the PCN contract “from partner community pharmacies with all the advantages of accessibility and extended hours,” Mr Stretch told C+D last week (June 12).

As part of the role, the pharmacist will undertake SMRs “at the pharmacies rather than in surgeries” across the PCN, Mr Stretch said. They will have remote access to the patient’s notes, which will offer patients the option of having their SMRs done in their pharmacy.

They will also carry out care home medication reviews and work with care home staff to “improve safety of medicines ordering, storage, recording administration and disposal”, according to the job description.

They will also take responsibility “for areas of chronic disease management within the network” and facilitating communications between the PCN GP practices and community pharmacies “to help support the repeat prescription system, deal with medication queries, and medicines reconciliation on transfer of care and systems for safer prescribing”, the job description said.

As stipulated in the 2020 GP contract, PCNs will be reimbursed the full annual salaries for “clinical” pharmacists and pharmacy technicians under the ARRS.

Mr Stretch developed the role with Dr Pat Barbour, South Central Ealing PCN clinical director, South Central Ealing PCN senior pharmacist Mitesh Shah, pharmacists Ali and Mo Harb from Harbs Pharmacy and and Kash Ismail from Remedy Pharmacy in Ealing.

The role also had input from Ealing LPC PCN lead Sachin Mehta and the CEO of a Middlesex group of LPCs Michael Levitan.

What do you make of this new role?

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Are C&D not covering the story of Sandra Gidley's despicable response when questioned about BAME pharmacists and discrimination? 
Serious questions need to be asked. Our BAME colleagues at the very least deserve that.This is the RPS President for goodness sake. If she's a racist might be worth a closer look ? In her position of privilege one can only imagine how she has behaved in her professional life, sitting on panels, commissions, interview panels. Doesn't bear thinking about.  And yet C&D do not deem this in any way newsworthy ! Perhaps questions now have to be asked of the editor and the senior management team !?

Graham Phillips, Superintendent Pharmacist

In what way is this a relevant response to the article to which it supposedly relates?

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

You may want to seek out what Sandra Gidley said and also her apology before shooting your mouth off. Your BAME colleagues may have a slightly different opinion to the one you currently seem to be displaying. Such an article in the current climate is the least we owe our BAME colleagues. You and C&D possibly being tone deaf would be  problem for you to address.

Pharm Druggist, Community pharmacist

What were her comments? Can't seem to find on twitter

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

The silence of C&D is a little worrying but perhaps not so surprising. 

Another publication has deemed it news worthy. 

C A, Community pharmacist

I guess they've been deleted for causing offence - her appology -

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