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Hosting GPs in pharmacies would 'favour multiples'

Oliver Colvile MP: "Large multiples like Boots could host GPs in their buildings"
Oliver Colvile MP: "Large multiples like Boots could host GPs in their buildings"

Two thirds of pharmacists are concerned that the all-party pharmacy group's (APPG) suggestion of placing GPs in community pharmacies would favour the large multiples, a C+D poll has revealed.

Oliver Colvile MP suggested during an APPG evidence session in January that “community pharmacies, particularly large multiples like Boots, could host GPs in their buildings”.

This would be “cost-effective [and] provide more convenience to the patient”, the notes from the APPG session read.

In a poll that ran on the C+D website between February 2 and March 27, 67% of readers said hosting GPs in pharmacies “could confuse patients and favour the large multiples”.

Of the 126 respondents to the poll, 33% agreed that having access to GPs in community pharmacies would be “cost effective and convenient for patients”.

Why "large multiples" only?

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff on Twitter agreed that providing GP services in pharmacies would be beneficial for patients, but questioned why Mr Colvile singled out “large multiples" in particular.

Community pharmacist Steve Eggleston suggested that the “idea” of hosting GPs in pharmacies – or “docs in shops” – had been previously trialed.

Brian Austen, director of healthcare consultancy EPOC Health Limited, said the idea was “tried seven to eight years ago…but was not feasible because the ‘shops’ could not meet premises and confidentiality standards”.

Nick Hunter, chief officer for Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and Rotherham local pharmaceutical committees, said hosting GPs in pharmacies could help primary healthcare teams to deliver a seven-day service.

The Twitter reaction 
Would you consider hosting GPs in your pharmacy?

Amjad Khan, Senior Management

So.. Let me get this right... Pharmacists shifted to GP practices and GPs shifted to Pharmacy.. What a load of...

Paul Samuels, Community pharmacist

With great difficulty!!

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Eh? Maybe I'm missing something but I thought there was both a chronic shortage of GPs and no money in the pharmacy pot. Who's paying for the GPs and where are they coming from? 

ajaz akhtar, Student

Lol....what will happen isn't rocket science...,this GP will probably see 50% or patients privately so if Boots Employ him/ her they'll keep that revenue and the money they make on private rxs ie is thAt 30% mark up. Tha will more than cover the cost of a GP

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Since when were the Great British public happy to PAY to see a GP? Maybe in SW1 or Richmond, but my customers won't even pay 32p for a box of paracetamol. Waiting times don't bother them - time is one thing they have plenty of!

ajaz akhtar, Student

You will be surprised how many people are now willing to pay to see a doctor. Times are changing and the notion that the NHS will be there for cradle to grave is a long distant memory

God save the queenie 

ajaz akhtar, Student


I'm presuming boots pay the GP and get the money back as rxs are directed to the pharmacy as I can't see ppl dispensing their rxs in another pharmacy when there is one on front of them . 

What's the difference between this and pharmacies attached to surgeries 

Benjamin Leon D'Montigny, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I agree, my area is devoid of GPS surgeries currently. 180 thousand patients been displaced by the recent seven closures of practices.

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