Overview of Clinical Pharmacy | Doing business


The NHS Long Term Plan sets a new vision for clinical pharmacists. The potential of these trained and experienced healthcare professionals to make their mark is finally being realized, and this will benefit both patients and the NHS, the former pharmacist said Deborah Evans

This is an edited version of an article that appeared on the Pharmafield website.

The long-standing ambition of the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association to provide every GP practice with a pharmacist is now much closer with the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan and new generalist contract. Both firmly integrate the role of clinical pharmacists in primary and community care, and more specifically in new primary care networks (PCNs).

The plan goes well beyond the current target of 2,000 clinical pharmacists and describes how a typical 50,000 patient NCP may choose to have its own team of approximately six full-time equivalent clinical pharmacists by 2023/24, depending on the local context.

A typical 50,000 patient NCP may choose to have its own team of approximately six full-time equivalent clinical pharmacists by 2023/24.

The new roles of clinical pharmacist will be part of a multidisciplinary team (EMD) operating at the NCP level, supervised by a senior pharmacist and seeing patients where it is most appropriate. This can include a patient’s home, nursing home, doctor’s office, or other community location, including a community pharmacy. These new roles will be funded through a new additional role reimbursement program that will cover 70% of the recurring costs of additional clinical pharmacists.

Roles and responsibilities

These dedicated clinical pharmacy teams will enable the development of varied and personalized roles that will include performing structured drug reviews, improving drug optimization and safety, nursing home support, and drug management. practice clinics. Pharmacists will play a key role in supporting the delivery of Directed Enhanced Service (EHR) specifications within new networks and this will include tackling patient over-medication, inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, and withdrawal of medications that are no longer needed. . Pharmacist reviews are expected to reduce avoidable A&E visits, hospitalizations, avoidable outpatient visits, and over-medication.

Clinical pharmacists will work cohesively across the country and all are required to complete an 18-month training program to enhance their clinical knowledge and skills, leadership skills, and qualify as independent prescribers. The main roles and responsibilities of clinical pharmacists include:

  • Clinical assessment and treatment of patients using their drug expertise.
  • Management of patients with chronic diseases.
  • Clinical reviews of drugs to proactively manage people with complex polypharmacy, especially the elderly, people in nursing homes, people with multiple long-term conditions (especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma ) and people with learning disabilities.
  • Reduce waste and promote personal care through structured drug reviews.
  • Work with and alongside MDTs in an NCP as prescribers.
  • Provide specialized expertise in the use of drugs.
  • Leadership in optimizing person-centered medications, improving quality, and supporting further integration of general practice with the broader healthcare team.
  • Play a central role in the clinical aspects of shared care protocols and clinical research.
  • Work with specialist pharmacists in hospitals and liaise with community pharmacies.

Significant change

Shortly after graduating 30 years ago, pharmacists in hospitals began their journey to establish the invaluable leadership role in medications they now have alongside other clinicians. These new announcements signal another important change for the profession, this time within primary care. The NHS is already making better use of the clinical skills of pharmacy professionals and, with the leadership of experienced and senior NHS strategic pharmacy leaders in integrated care systems, full integration of pharmacy practice will become a reality. Patients and the NHS can only benefit.

Deborah Evans FRPharmS FFRPS FRSPH is the Managing Director of Pharmacy completed, a training and consulting company working with pharmaceuticals and industry.

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