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Clinical Pharmacists helping to transform the NHS workforce

GP practices are now invited to apply for funding in the second phase of a successful pilot scheme which offers clinical pharmacists the chance to develop their role in general practice.

The Clinical Pharmacist in General Practice Scheme helps recruit, train and develop clinical pharmacists. The first phase saw over 450 pharmacists take part in an 18-month training programme based in 650 practices across the country.

Health Education England (HEE) are managing the implementation of the education and training programme  which will be delivered by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE). The NHS England led scheme sees clinical pharmacists working as clinicians within general practice teams to help patients manage long-term conditions and multiple medications.

Their integration into GP teams means that patients have access to their clinical expertise and allows GPs to focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions.

Professor John Howard, Head of Education and Quality for Primary and Community Care Health Education England said:

“This is a really important boost for the clinical workforce in primary care. Studies have shown that clinical pharmacists working with general practitioners can undertake up to 40% of the routine tasks of a GP as well as contributing their unique knowledge of medicines management to enhance safe and cost effective prescribing in general practice.

“The programme from NHS England is a great example of improved patient care and importantly the provision of exciting new career paths for clinicians in the NHS.”

“I am pleased that the pilot is already having such a positive impact not just on those taking part but on the patients who have come into with clinical pharmacists in practices.

It is anticipated that up to 1500 WTE pharmacists will join the education and training programme which will be delivered with educational partners including the universities of Bath, Brighton, East Anglia (UEA) and Exeter. They will also work with Red Whale who provide on-going training for general practitioners to ensure that clinical pharmacists are offered the same learning and on-going development as their GP colleagues.

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