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The Right Medicine

A new pilot scheme has been launched in North East Lincolnshire to support people to get the most out of their medicines and make a better recovery.

Patients at 12 local GP practices will have access to a clinical pharmacist who will work alongside the doctors and nurses to ensure people always get to see the right health professional for their needs.

The pharmacists will support people, especially those who have long term health conditions and need to have regular treatment, to understand how their medicines should be used and why they have been prescribed, as well as solving any problems they may have with them.

If people have problems with medicine, they sometimes just stop taking it. However, medicines have been prescribed for a good reason and if they are stopped, or a course of treatment is not finished, then their condition will not improve or it could become more serious with some people ending up in hospital.

“Having a pharmacist in the practice means patients will have access to important medicines advice and regular reviews in the place where they go for their other medical appointments,” explained local GP and chair of LINCS Federation Dr Sean Thrippleton. “The pharmacists will also be able to support people who have been discharged home from hospital with a set of medicines which they may not fully understand or know why they are taking them.”

LINCS Federation facilitated a process for all practices in North East Lincolnshire to submit a joint bid, and 12 Practices confirmed that they wished to take part in the new national scheme which will run for three years.

The local practices are Fieldhouse, Pelham, Scartho, Beacon Medical, Clee Medical, Roxton, Dr A Kumar, Healing Surgery, Dr Mathews, Dr R Kumar, Dr Sinha & De, Raj Medical.

Six pharmacists are currently being recruited and are expected to be working within the practice by the end of March. Funding in the first year will be jointly through the pilot (NHS England) and North East Lincolnshire CCG, with the remaining years funded jointly by the pilot and the practices.

This will also speed up treatment for patients who attend their practice for advice but do not need to see a GP.

“Joint working between pharmacists and GPs has the potential to have major benefits for both patients and clinical professionals. This pilot will be a win-win for GPs, pharmacists and patients,” said Dr Thomas Maliyil, local GP and primary care lead with North East Lincolnshire CCG.

“By testing these new ways of working across professional boundaries we are taking another step forward to relieving some of the pressure that GPs are clearly under and ensuring patients see the health professional that best suits their needs.”

More information

Many GP practices are already employing pharmacists in patient facing roles.  The aim of the pilot is to build on these successes and integrate pharmacists into the general practice team.

Case studies and more information about pharmacists working in general practice are available on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website and the NHS England website:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/primary-care-comm/gp-action-plan/cp-gp-pilot/

See also short video of Rena Amin, a pharmacist in a GP practice in NHS Greenwich CCG explaining her role and short video of The Old School Surgery, explaining the clinical pharmacist role and the benefits to patients:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/primary-care-comm/gp-action-plan/cp-gp-pilot/

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