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Ash Soni addresses your practice pharmacist concerns

RPS president responds to poll showing half of readers worry GP pharmacists will divert funding


Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni has responded to C+D readers concerned that recruiting an extra 1,500 pharmacists into GP surgeries will divert funding away from community pharmacy

But Mr Soni told readers there is only a "low risk"  that this will happen, while at Avicenna's conference in Mauritius on Tuesday (May 31).

NHS England's plans to quadruple the existing practice pharmacist pilot – announced in April – will not take money away from the sector as long as pharmacists "deliver the things they are capable of doing and the services they are commissioned for", he said.

Rather than a funding concern, the extra 1,500 GP pharmacists could be a " great opportunity for collaboration", Mr Soni added.

Watch Mr Soni's full response in the video above.

C+D poll reveals GP funding concerns...

Mr Soni made the comments in response to a C+D poll that revealed that half of 107 respondents fear the practice pharmacist initiative could divert money away. A further 7% said it could impact the services offered by their pharmacy.

...but also possible advantages

However, almost a quarter (23%) of respondents 
said the plans will lead to increased collaboration between their pharmacies and GP surgeries. A further 8% said increasing recruitment in general practice will reduce competition for roles in community pharmacy. 

Thirteen per cent said the plans will have no impact on their pharmacy. 

Read more: Pharmacy organisations were underwhelmed by the extra practice pharmacists when they were announced in April

What impact will extra practice pharmacists have on your pharmacy?

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Cathy Cooke, Hospital pharmacist

I communicate with many GPs and a good proportion have had poor experiences with their local community pharmacy or pharmacist (wrong advice, poor communication etc). Interestingly, those used to having a pharmacist working in the practice are a lot more positive about community pharmacists, and don't think they're just there to sell as much non-evidence based medicines to the public as they can!  Every community pharmacist needs to be visibly delivering a good professional service, there's no point in sitting in the back of the dispensary.  If the value isn't obvious, you're disposable.  (And in case anyone thinks I'm not qualified to comment, I practised as a community pharmacist for 25years and have worked in GP practices.)

Mr Pharmacist!, Pharmaceutical Adviser


N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Blank !!!!

Peter Marshall, Community pharmacist

As a practice based pharmacist, can I  say it is a great opportunity for colloboration between the surgery and community pharmacy. Ask any pharmacy in Skipton whether having a  GP based pharmacist is helpful and I am sure the answer will be a resounding yes. If we are to develop future community based roles it is essential we do it for the best interests of patients. The scandal with MURs has not helped community pharmacy, but working together with local surgeries means we can plan local initiatives.

The funding for surgery based pharmacists  can easily come from savings made from reduced hospital admissions from inappropriate prescribing, maintenance of repeat medication lists following hospital discharges , and adherence to therapeutic drug monitoring for shared care medications- to name but 3 important roles -  so community pharmacy should embrace and support practice based pharmacists

Yuna Mason, Sales

Anyone see a problem with the RPS spending members' fees on a trip to Mauritius in the middle of the fight against funding cuts? Meanwhile four Boots employees were elected to the RPS boards - how likely is the RPS to challenge anything that it does?

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Must have been a real strain - all without sunglasses. Any more cake anyone?

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Fantastic PR. Fight the cuts!! Coming all the way from Mauritius. 

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

You couldn't make it up!!  

Simmi Sood, Community pharmacist

Probably got a discount on the flights otherwise they would definitely have had the conference in Birmingham NOT !

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