From my personal experience of working in a similar role in the NHS England pilot, I have seen the potential of this role and how this new model of having pharmacists in general practice can prove to be successful in helping achieve better patient health outcomes and safety. It is very rewarding to see the progression and development of each individual and the embedding of a pharmacist in a GP practice team. Ultimately, forming a strong, highly diverse skill mix of multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals can really help with better quality patient care.
So far the team have been undergoing their induction and settling in within their neighbourhood practices. The practices have been very welcoming and receptive and we have had some positive engagement. It is felt that once everyone is settled in and embedded within their practices the process will develop.
One of our senior pharmacists in the Central/Great Lever neighbourhood is looking forward to starting with telephone follow ups of over 75 year old, non-elective discharges from hospital, including medication reviews and care plan updates.
We have another pharmacist over at the Farnworth/Kearsley neighbourhood who has started helping practices with medication reviews, including care home reviews, which will help free GP time to focus on more complex patient clinical needs.
Furthermore, we have also had positive experiences of pharmacists having opportunities to shadow GPs/other clinicians/staff at practices. This has been very useful for those pharmacists who are completely new to primary care and general practice. One of our pharmacists has come from a community pharmacy locum background, and has found being able to shadow GPs over at the Turton neighbourhood to be an invaluable experience.
Finally, just to say, your pharmacists are here to help support you and your teams and are an excellent resource – one not to be missed out on.
So let’s start on this new journey together – ‘stronger through working together’.