Clinical Pharmacist Role in Primary Care

Having a Clinical Pharmacist in practice can relieve the pressure on GP’s time, allowing them to focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions.

What are the benefits of having a Clinical Pharmacist in the team?

  • Reduces waiting times for appointments
  • Provides continuity of care for patients with long term conditions
  • Helps patients to get the most from their medicines
  • reduces wastage and overuse of medicines
  • reduces unplanned admissions to A&E

What can a Clinical Pharmacist do in General Practice?

Some of the skills that the Clinical Pharmacist would be able to demonstrate safely are:

  • Help the practice deliver on the QIPP and QOF
  • Work with doctors and patients to address medicine adherence, reducing the wastage and overuse of medicines
  • Monitor patients’ blood results, focusing on potential harm that can come from long-term use of medicines or poor compliance
  • Review patients on complex medicine regimens/ with ongoing health problems
  • Support doctors by highlighting changes in NICE guidelines
  • Triage and manage common ailments
  • Take part in multi-disciplinary case reviews
  • Deal with medication for patients recently discharged from hospital, including liaison with hospital, community and primary care colleagues
  • Work with the practice team to deliver repeat prescription reviews, especially for care home residents, people prescribed polypharmacy and frail older people
  • Look at how best practice is integrated into care processes and improve the quality of patient care, ensuring patient safety
  • Manage and prescribe* for long term condition patients

*once they have completed an independent prescribing course

What is the recommended salary for a Clinical Pharmacist?

In general practice, a Clinical Pharmacist’s salary can be negotiated, although there is a suggested range based on experience:

  • new graduates -Band 6 AFC equivalent
  • 2-5 years post-qualification – Band 7 AFC equivalent
  • Advanced Practitioner/ Independent Prescriber- Band 8A equivalent

What are Clinical Pharmacists trained to do?

All qualified pharmacists have undergone either a 3 or 4-year degree and 12 months of ‘on the job’ training as a preregistration pharmacist before taking their final exams. Following qualification they will undertake foundation training, after which they may then undertake postgraduate study, which could be:

  • A prescribing qualification
  • A clinical diploma in community pharmacy
  • A research qualification (e.g. Master’s degree)
  • A physical assessment module

What additional training would a Clinical Pharmacist need to work in General Practice?

  • Use of surgery computer systems
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework and the QIPP agenda
  • Clinical coding
  • Clinical and information governance
  • Safeguarding for adults and children
  • Management of the practice’s repeat prescribing system

Supporting Evidence

An overview of the training pathway for Clinical Pharmacists, the Challenges and Benefits of the role with references & further reading

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