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GPs tell Mowat: Pharmacists can manage long-term conditions

David Mowat (right) and practice pharmacist Yaksheeta Dave (left) during a consultation. Credit: RPS

GPs used a visit by David Mowat to tell the pharmacy minister that community pharmacists “could manage selected long-term conditions”, according to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

During his visit to Hillview Surgery in Ealing, London last week (February 23), Mr Mowat learned more about the relationships between GPs and community pharmacists – as well as the role of practice pharmacists – said RPS English pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley.

“The GPs in [that] surgery are very [supportive of] community pharmacists taking on a bigger workload,” said Ms Gidley, who was present at the visit.

“[They] actually said to David Mowat: 'We think community pharmacists could manage selected patients with long-term conditions.’ So that was a very positive message the minister took away,” Ms Gidley told C+D.

Countering the 'clinical pharmacist' confusion

According to Ms Gidley, Mr Mowat also “picked up on” the fact that she had not used the phrase “clinical pharmacists”.

“I turned around and said: ‘That’s because all pharmacists are clinical’,” she said on Monday (February 27).

Services at risk

As part of his two-and-a-half hour visit, Mr Mowat sat in on a diabetes consultation by a practice-based pharmacist.

“I was able to explain to him that some community pharmacists offer some of the services – diabetes tests for example,” Ms Gidley said.

“I wasn’t making a political point, but these were some of the services that might drop if pharmacies felt they had to look at their bottom line, because there’s less money coming in,” she added.

Watch Ms Gidley explain the benefits practice pharmacists can have for GPs – as well as for community pharmacists – below:


You can view a slideshow of images from Mr Mowat's visit here.

Do GPs in your area think pharmacies should manage more long-term conditions?

R S, Community pharmacist

I would sign up for minor ailments if it wasn't for the ridiculous stipulation that I MUST provideit for, I think it's 90 or 100% of my opening hours. I cannot possibly guarantee this, I would love to comply, but so many locums are not qualified to provide these services. I know the CCG turn a blind eye to this and don't enforce the contract breach. So why say we need to cover 90% of opening hours. The starting point should be any amount of hours providing MAS.
I see locums as the barrier to rolling out extra services, the majority won't do the extra training, eg flu service, they have to pay them selves, I would probably do the same if I were them, why should they pay. My employer paid for my flu training. The NHS should reimburse locums for there training.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

What I like about pharmacy is the variety of roles. In the space of onw week, I am a practice pharmacist,  medicines optimisation, respiratory clinic, then the odd half day in retail and at weekends an urgent care practitioner in a walk in centre. So, I can't understand the sector snobbery issue, we're all trying to do our job with professionalism and dignity, so let's get on with it regardless.

Boma Tonye Oburoh, Community pharmacist

You never see Doctors or nurses look down on each other irrespective of where they are placed. Why do pharmacist feel like looking down on each other is a way forward? 
We need to show respect to one another and then we'll continue to get respect. No one field in pharmacy is better than the other, we just do different things but all in the interest of patient care.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

"Practice Pharmacist" or cheap second rate want-to-be doctors who are unsuccessful applicants to medical schools? Professional pride. 

Helen Pinney, Pharmacy technician

Your comment gives away your ignorance as to what a practice pharmacist does/is. Do a bit of CPD on it and stop mudslinging, because your insecurity is showing. You forget that we are all one profession doing our best for patient care and ridiculous comments like this aren't helping anybody.

Helen Kilminster, Primary care pharmacist

Wow! Total lack of respect to your fellow peers working in GP surgery! Our role in GP land is so varied, from clinically patient facing to data analysis and audit. I work in GP Practice and I have never ever claimed to be like a doctor or ever wished to be one. I had a chance to go medical school and I chose not to! This summary of the visit is to introduce that are some pharmacy peers who want to join up patients care in one profession. Nursing do it, so why don't we? Innovation and cultural changes needed if the integrity of profession is to stand some merit.

Graham Stretch, Primary care pharmacist

I am a "Practice Pharmacist", have pride in my profession and also possess a doctorate. I have no wish to be a GP, instead I choose to practice pharmacy in a field that allows me to use my pharmaceutical skills to manage my patients’ medications in a more direct manner than I was able to when I worked in community.

The majority of my consultations are with patients referred to me by my GP colleagues for assistance with complex pharmaceutical issues. These GPs value the expertise brought to the team by having a pharmacist working in the surgery with them. I also happen to believe much of my work could and should be performed by peers in the community. We are working on integration models to facilitate this. Only by working in this integrated manner, utilising the skills of the 10,000+ community pharmacists, will we deliver the best pharmaceutical care for all our patients. At present we are only scratching the surface.

Criticise from afar or role up your sleeves and get involved, the Murray Report offers suggestions for utilising pharmacists’ skills from all sectors more effectively. We can choose to argue amongst ourselves, or work together for our profession and our patients.

All pharmacists are clinical? Really? Academics? Those in Industry? Do you know what "clinical" means?? Rather ignorant statement by someone who should know better! 

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