2015 saw the launch of the clinical pharmacist pilot. Which trial pharmacists working within primary care, this pilot was independently evaluated. The trial identified that clinical pharmacists had not only increased capacity in practices but brought a ‘unique and valuable contribution’ to the skill mix in primary care.
Following this pilot and the value, the future of pharmacists in primary care was set. A draft of the network contract for direct enhanced services was published in December 2019. The relatively new PCNs raised concerns about the restrictive and prescriptive nature of the direct enhanced service, with concerns that practice-based pharmacists would be overburdened the delivery of structured medication reviews (SMRs). The GPs’ desire to use pharmacists to release primary care workforce and capacity resulted in the renegotiation and concession on these demands to allow pharmacists to expand and use their full skill set.
PCN and practice based pharmacists are now also seeing roles within the investment and impact fund, local enhanced services and local incentive schemes. With new schemes being point based similar to the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) fund are allocated on practice/PCN achievements. Areas where pharmacist have the skills to assist the practice include: influenza vaccinations, patients on the learning disability register receiving health checks, social prescribing referrals, gastro-protective prescribing, metered dose inhaler use, and spending on medicines that should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. Our Clinical Services – Virtual Pharmacist (virtualpharmacist.co.uk)