What is Virtual Pharmacist? And what are the Benefits?

Virtual Pharmacist is an online services provided by GPHC registered pharmacists and technicians. We provide a number of clinical and administrative services that will not only reduce the pressure on your entire practice but help the practice be more efficient and effective.

Pharmacists are becoming more integrated within general practice. A focus of the NHS Long Term Plan was the implementation of primary care networks (PCNs) that could see a typical PCN employ six full-time clinical pharmacists. The evolution of PCNs holds great promise to grow the networks between the healthcare professionals within the patients community.

Virtual pharmacists enables a tailored services for each practice it serves. We know each is unique and so is our service. From just administrative clinical letters and discharge reconciliation to the full clinical pharmacist service providing medication reviews, and reviewing acute prescription requests. Our service will be flexible to suit your needs.

The Benefits of a Virtual Pharmacist

What are the benefits?

There are many:

  • No recruitment cost- time, advertisments, and notice period
  • Costs of employment  – National Insurance, Pension, Sickness, Holiday, Maternity/Paternity etc.
  • Training time
  • Rooms and equipment
  • HR costs and management
  • Insurance
  • Travel time and expenses.

Evidence shows that remote workers are more productive

Why is Virtual Pharmacist different? FAQ

Virtual Pharmacist is not a face less online company. We have been started by practice pharmacists to help practices. We know and understand your needs, your expectations and we plan to exceed them.

Are the pharmacists experienced?

The pharmacists and techincans within our team are already based in primary care and are experienced. So on day 1 you have a pharmacist that is up and running.

They ALL have prior experience in primary care.

The have ALL be either trained or vetted by our senior pharmacist.

They have either started or undergone the national training pathway or are exempt due to experience. It is important to our team that we all maintain our high standards as we are representing each other.

Occasionally we may recruit a highly experience community pharmacist that shows promise. In these cases the practice would be informed and our senior support pharmacist would support and train them.

Why use virtual pharmacist rather than a locum pharmacist?

Some locum companies may offer pharmacists with experience. Pharmacists roles vary massively like nurse and doctors. Many pharmacists who locum are likely to have a community or hospital background rather than primary care. Therefore you may find you have a pharmacist with little to no experience that you then need to train. This the wastes the practices time and resources which could have been deployed elsewhere.

Will the same pharmacist work at the practice all the time?

Dependent on the needs of your practice we can arrange for one or two pharmacists to work with your practice on a regular basis. This enables continuity of care, and a build of rapport with both your practice and your patients. We ask our pharmacists to regularly audit their work load, and our Senior Pharmacist carries out quality checks.

Occasional there may be periods that need additional cover for example the regular pharmacist being on holiday, sickness or bereavement. We will always endeavour to cover holiday, and notice will be given so you know who is working for you each day.  We have a pool of pharmacists and we will try to team you up with pharmacist that fits your needs.

How does the team keep upto date?

The Team are all actively working in primary care, they receive the MHRA alerts and are continuously undergoing professional development and revalidation. They also share resources and learning within the team.

Communication is important as it ensure the pharmacists are all supported by their peers. They can ask question or just get that second opinion on a query that is not possible from a pharmacist working alone. Many remote companies will employ pharmacists with little to no experience and set them up in isolating.

Our pharmacists and technician are continuously learning and developing, every month the senior pharmacist creates or arranges one to two hour training sessions on relevant topics to ensure the pharmacists keep up to date with new services, new guidelines and any safety alerts, they also receive regular mentoring session. This ensure that any pharmacist you work with is supported.

How much does the service cost?

The costs vary on the specific service requested. We can offer an hourly rate or a service rate dependent on the practice population. From experience we have seen models were practice wanting the full pharmacists service with a practice population of 6,000 would need approximately 12 hours a week, where as just an administrative service would be between 7-9 hours a week. Another example a other practice wanting a full service with a population of 17,000 would need a full time pharmacist 30+ hours a week, the administrative work here though is fairly similar 10-12 hours a week.

What is the sign up processes?

If you are interested in our services simply complete the contact us form or call us on 01138715065.

Our senior pharmacist will then contact you to discuss your needs. We can then look at the information you provide to work out an estimate. If you can give us an estimate on number of queries, letters, discharges etc. you process monthly. We can give you a quote.

If you are happy with the quote we can be up and running within days.

How do we access your clinical system?

We access the clinical systems through NHS approved laptops, using the NHS card readers and cards. Therefore the practice remains in control. Our pharmacy team will sign any confidential agreements the practice require exactly the same as if the pharmacist was working in the practice.