NHS England is encouraging GP practices to apply for the next wave of fundings for practice pharmacists by 19 January 2018.
This comes as NHS England has approved funding for further 160 surgery-based pharmacists’ posts.
It means that the total number of clinical pharmacists will increase from around 580 to more than 1,100 working across more than 3,200 GP practices, covering a population of nearly 34 million patients.
A pilot programme to get pharmacists to work in general practice was initially launched in July 2015, but after a few months funding rose from the initial £15m to £31m, which benefited around 700 practices.
Given the popularity of the programme, a new central investment of £112m was implemented with the General Practice Forward View (GPFV), to guarantee those practices initially not in the pilot would benefit from the scheme. The programme is set to bring a further 1,500 pharmacists in general practice by 2020.
The clinical pharmacists are intended to allow GPs to spend more time dealing with patients with greatest needs.
GP and NHS England director of primary care Dr Arvind Madan said: ‘The clinical pharmacist programme has proven to be a hugely popular with practices, patients and pharmacists themselves.
‘Clinical pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge and skills to offer great patient care, in a more convenient way and are also taking some of the pressure off GPs, particularly at this time of year when we know demand is even greater than usual.’
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