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Every practice in England to get access to a clinical pharmacist

NHS England has pledged that every practice in England will gain access to a clinical pharmacist, in a £112m expansion of its current pilot.

The General Practice Forward View said this would finance a further 1,500 pharmacists working in general practice, or one across every 30,000-patient footprint, which could relieve pressure on busy GPs.

The report said ‘early indications’ from the popular GP clinical pharmacist pilot had showed that it had led to improvements of the ’practice prescription processes, medicines optimisation, minor ailments and long term conditions management’.

It stated that, as ‘appetite for the original pilot scheme was high’ NHS England will now ‘roll [the scheme] out further across the country over the next five years, so that every practice can benefit’.

It said it would also ’open up the clinical pharmacist training programme to practices that have directly funded a clinical pharmacist’.

The investment annouced for training non-GP workforce, in line with Jeremy Hunt’s ‘new deal’ pledge to deliver 5,000 additional general practice staff, will see:

  • £15 million invested in practice nurse development, including return to work schemes, improving nurse training capacity in general practice, and improving retention;
  • £45 million extra funding nationally over five years so that every practice in the country can help their reception and clerical staff play a greater role in care navigation, signposting patients and handling clinical paperwork to free up GP time;
  • £6 million for practice manager development;
  • Pilots to explore the role of physiotherapist services in general practice, and a new ‘medical assistant’ role.

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