GP practices are to be offered additional funding to employ an in-house pharmacist under a new £15m NHS England project.
The additional investment of £15m will be used to recruit clinical pharmacists to GP practices as part of a three-year pilot programme announced by Simon Stevens, NHS England’s Chief Executive.
More than 300 pharmacists will be employed directly by practices in ‘areas of greatest need where GPs are under greatest pressure’.
NHS England will fund 60% of the costs of the pharmacists to the practices for the first 12 months of employment, which will decrease to 40% for the second year and 20% during the third year.
The pharmacists’ role will involve:
- providing clinical advice and expertise on treatments
- developing bespoke medicine plans for individual patients
- managing repeat prescription requests
- increasing the uptake of new medicines
- managing medicines shortages by suggesting suitable alternatives where appropriate
- supporting innovation and clinical research where appropriate
- mentoring newer pharmacists.
This move comes a month after the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced a ‘new deal’, in which he said the Government would look to introduce 5,000 staff – including pharmacists, physician associates and practice nurses – into general practice by 2020.