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Use new GP contract as model for pharmacy, urge pharmacy leaders

Professional Pharmacists could support GPs by focusing on those with minor ailments or long-term conditions, helping them to offer more personalised care

The new GP contract is an opportunity for pharmacists to make a "major contribution" to managing long-term conditions and should be used as a model for the pharmacy contract, pharmacy bodies have said.


Pharmacists could help GPs to focus on more personalised care for vulnerable patients, as set out in the GP contract published last week (November 15), said PSNC.


The Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) and contractor Martin Bennett called for the pharmacy contract to be aligned with the new GP contract, but admitted this would be a challenge.


The new GP contract could enable pharmacists to help doctors to offer more personalised care

More on the pharmacy contract

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PSNC hoped to have "constructive discussions" with GPs about how pharmacists could support them by focusing on patients with minor ailments and long-term conditions, said chief executive Sue Sharpe. "We recognise the resource and workload pressures that GPs are facing and the challenges ahead and we believe community pharmacies can help," she added.


Mr Bennett, of Wicker Pharmacy in Sheffield, agreed that the GP contract – which will ensure all patients over 75 have a named GP – was an opportunity for pharmacists to support GPs, particularly by providing domiciliary MURs to elderly patients.


A new pharmacy contract should take the GP contract into account, Mr Bennett said, but he did not have "any great hope" that the two would be closely linked or that pharmacists would receive more funding to expand their role, he told C+D.


IPF chair Fin McCaul agreed the pharmacy contract should be modelled on the GP contract but said it would be a challenge as the pharmacy contract was focused on "driving drug costs down".


"Both contracts need to be aligned to work on patient outcomes, for example, reductions in undiagnosed diabetes, hypertension, COPD and to ensure existing diagnosed patients have the best control of their long-term conditions," he told C+D.

What else is in the GP contract?

All patients will be allowed to access their summary care record and order repeat prescriptions online.

GPs must regularly review personalised care plans for vulnerable patients and identify a named GP who is accountable for their care.

341 quality outcome framework (QOF) points will be removed and the funding reinvested in other parts of the contract as well as the core funding of general practice.

All GP practices will be able to register patients from outside their traditional boundary areas, without an obligation to provide home visits.

GPs who had opted out of providing an out-of-hours service will have to monitor the quality of those services in their area.


NHS England was unable to comment on whether any aspects of the GP contract, which was negotiated between the British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee and NHS Employers on NHS England's behalf, would be reflected in the pharmacy contract, as negotiations with PSNC were ongoing, it told C+D.


Speaking at the LPC conference earlier this month (November 5), Ms Sharpe said there was "no doubt" that there would be closer links between GP and pharmacists' roles in future, since NHS England was negotiating the contract with both professions. However, pharmacists were unlikely to see these changes until NHS England began to implement its wider strategy for the health service, she said.


What opportunities does the GP contract create for pharmacists?

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1 Comments

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

"Pharmacists could help GPs to focus on more personalised care for vulnerable patients, as set out in the GP contract published last week (November 15), said PSNC".

GREAT IDEA!!! But yet again it seems we are expected to do more for nothing...SHOW ME THE MONEY...GPS WILL GET PAY RISES OFFERING ADDITIONAL SERVICES THEY ARE CLEVER THAN TO TAKE ON EXTRA RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT EXTRA FUNDING

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