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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Lisa Silver

Dr Lisa Silver is a GP at a dispensing practice in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. With other GPs in the area, she is campaigning to make patients aware of the threat of surgery closure posed by the pharmacy white paper.

Dr Lisa Silver is a GP at a dispensing practice in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. With other GPs in the area, she is campaigning to make patients aware of the threat of surgery closure posed by the pharmacy white paper.

What threat does the pharmacy white paper pose to general practice?

The threat is twofold. Primarily there is a threat to dispensing practices and the nine million patients they look after, and the effects on them if they are not able to dispense.

There's also the risk that if pharmacists take on a lot of clinical work, the consequence will be patients being seen twice, and duplicating work.

How can pharmacists help GPs?

They are excellent at medications and medicine management, which is what they are trained to do. They could help by working in primary care with our surgeries, as opposed to working separately in pharmacies.

Can pharmacists do cardiovascular screening?

The problem is, who bears the responsibility for the results? If you find

a patient is at risk, but you can't take responsibility for their ongoing care, then you won't have completed your job properly.

And why is general practice best suited to this work?

We are the backstop that prevents patients going away untreated. We have a call and recall system that means we can follow patients up and make sure they are properly managed – pharmacists don't have access to complete patient records.

What do you dislike about the current state of general practice?

The continual meddling by the current Government, for no other reason than to win votes.

What is the Government doing wrong?

Creating duplication of healthcare with Darzi polyclinics and, in doing so, wasting money that could and should be better spent elsewhere.

What's the worse aspect of your job?

I am seen by my patients as omniscient. They come and see me about things that aren't medical – such as, can I help with the damp in their houses – because they don't know who else to go to.

Dr Lisa Silver

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