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In response to research that reveals that one in every 20 prescriptions written by a GP contains a mistake, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Martin Astbury said prescribing errors could be halved if GPs introduced an in-house, pharmacist-led support scheme.
He said: "The NHS spends around £8.8bn on medicines prescribed mainly by GPs in England each year. We must do more to maximise the benefits of that investment. We are calling for every GP practice to have a pharmacist on the premises dedicated to patient safety."
Or maybe pharmacists should take over routine prescribing altogether?
Is there really a future for a pharmacist in every GP practice?
PJ Online team
In this climate of multidisciplinary working, it makes perfect sense to allow a pharmacist to be integrated into a GP Practice. There is the well rehearsed medicines safety, errors and waste reduction angle. Most importantly for me, it is the role as a bridge and a single point of contact between the different community pharmacists and the surgery that is most appealing. The surgery team will also find such a role to be quite appealing as they can direct any queries to the on-site pharmacist.
When MUR was introduced and I was concerned about potential problems with engaging with my then GP, I asked the practice-based PCT pharmacist to facilitate a meeting. It worked and the outcome was positive.
There will always be the fear about how constructive and even-handed a practice-based pharmacist will be when engaging with community pharmacist colleagues. Will they simply be a voice for disseminating the views of the practice or will their job-specification explicitly include fostering a climate of engagement with all care providers (as it relates to medicines) within that locality. These are just fears and must be treated as such (In most likelihood, they will have no factual basis).
A pharmacist appointed in that role must be knowledgeable, diplomatic and outcome focussed. They must also be willing to par-take and initiate quality medicines-related practice research. Whao, this could be really exciting. I am sure a number of pharmacist will comfortably fill this role.
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