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Practices share £100,000 to employ pharmacists in £1m savings drive



Practices in one area of England are being funded by their CCG to employ pharmacists in a bid to save £1m from overall prescribing costs.

NHS Bassetlaw CCG, in Nottinghamshire, has agreed to invest £100,000 across its 12 practices, according to list size, for practices to employ pharmacists on a sessional basis.

It is hoping that the scheme will save £1m through reducing waste and increasing efficiency, including by reviewing repeat prescriptions and checking care home prescriptions.

It comes as NHS England is set to announce next month the pilots that have been successful in receiving a share of the £15m fund for practices to recruit and employ clinical pharmacists.

NHS Bassetlaw CCG is funding its own scheme itself.

Its most recent board papers, from its September meeting, said: ’The CCG has agreed to fund £100,000 spit between each practice according to list size for pharmacist time in each practice

’If the CCG hit the £1m savings the CCG will reinvest £100k based on the list size of each practice.’

Dr Steve Kell, chair of Bassetlaw CCG, said pharmacists would help reduce waste and increase efficiency – for example, by reviewing repeat prescriptions to check that patients are taking the medicines and getting the right ones and checking that dressings in nursing homes are being prescribed efficiently.

He said: ’It’s hard for GPs to do all this [prescribing] on their own. They’re very busy and need additional support.’

In July, NHS England said it would spend £15m to recruit clinical pharmacists to GP practices.

Over the next three years, 300 pharmacists will be employed directly by practices – likely as part of federations – in ‘areas of greatest need where GPs are under greatest pressure’.

NHS England said it 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% for the third year.

NHS England said that the pharmacists will be involved in providing clinical advice and expertise on treatments; developing bespoke medicine plans for individual patients; monitoring patients with complex long term conditions such as hypertension or diabetes; and managing repeat prescription requests.

A spokesperson told Pulse: ’Next month we will be announcing the pilots taking part in the £15m scheme to fund, recruit and employ clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries as part of efforts to promote new ways of working.’