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Pharmacies in Primary Care

on Wednesday, 06 April 2016.

For many years there has been a basic division in primary healthcare.

Doctors diagnose and prescribe drugs but can't dispense them; pharmacists do dispense drugs (and know medicines better than anyone) but can't diagnose (despite knowing a lot about health).

The gap has of course narrowed in many ways, for instance our GP clients own dispensing pharmacies, they have established private medical services within pharmacies, and they employ pharmacists to see patients for basic conditions. But the integration of pharmacists with general practice is set to develop significantly now that the NHS has provided funding. For instance Healthbridge Direct, a GP federation in the Redbridge area of East London, was one of the 73 successful applicants (from over 300 who applied) for a share of a £31 million NHS fund. This will enable them to embed a resident pharmacist within certain GP practices. If it is successful, expect this model to be replicated more widely.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society proposed a new £20m Pharmacy Integration Fund to enable pharmacists to provide more direct care to patients, integrated into new care models. More information can be found here.

There has long been talk of pharmacists' resources helping under-resourced GPs, but it looks like the talk is turning into action.

For more information, please contact Ben Willis in our Healthcare team on 0117 314 5475.

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