Practice pharmacist support

Practice pharmacist support

Primary care is facing an immediate and growing crisis with a reducing workforce and rising demand. GPs and their teams are estimated to make 370m patient consultations this year - 70m more than five years ago - due to an ageing population and more patients being treated for long-term and complex conditions. As demand has risen rapidly, the number of GPs in England has remained relatively stagnant.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have come up with plans to benefit from the availability and expertise of practice pharmacists in a bid to ease current pressures in general practice and address the severe shortage of GPs.

The initiative will improve patient safety and care and, crucially, reduce waiting times for GP appointments.

PSS has received unprecedented demand from practices requiring the services of a practice pharmacist. PSS is able to provide a fully managed pharmacist led service model which supports practices with a cost effective solution to address the workload associated with managing medicines related activity. We already provide a range of primary care medicines optimisation services including care home and discharge support services, medication review/reconciliation and our pharmacists are now also supporting practices with patient facing activities including multiple morbidity clinics.

Having a pharmacist as part of the clinical team within a practice can relieve work pressure on GPs to free up time to spend with patients with complex medical needs. Our work has highlighted that GPs spend significant time managing prescribing, which includes reviewing medicines, reconciliation of letters and discharge forms, addressing patient compliance and managing repeat prescribing systems.

As well as practices benefiting from pharmacists supporting these activities, a number of practices are also valuing the extended role they can perform. This can include the management of care for people with self-limiting illnesses and those with long term conditions, particularly where pharmacists have the ability to prescribe independently. The value of commissioning pharmacist support also has an impact on the wider practice team such as the reception team, nurses, students and trainees.

Key activities

  • Managing repeat prescribing
  • Medication reviews
  • Repeat reauthorisation
  • Processing hospital discharge summaries and letters
  • Responding to acute prescription requests
  • Deprescribing of unused and unnecessary items
  • Complex polypharmacy reviews
  • Complex chronic disease reviews
  • Medication queries from clinicians, practice team, patients
  • GP registrar/medical student education
  • Benefits of commissioning the PSS Service

    • Dedicated pharmacist attached to the practice
    • Practice input into candidate selection.
    • Change management support inc training for practice staff and all materials .
    • Cover for extended absence and sickness.
    • Initial training and induction and ongoing CPD.
    • Access to senior clinical support, training, protocols and SOPs.
    • Scalable solution inc full time if required.
    • No upfront costs to the practice e.g. recruitment, advertising.

    Further information

    To discuss how a practice pharmacist could support your practice call us on 01274 299536 or email