The Pharmacist in General Practice

I am surprised that when the GPs sign their registration with the CQC, they don’t think:’Why don’t we employ a pharmacist in the practice’

And to be honest, I just don’t know why not. I know some enlightened GPs and some fantastic practice pharmacists. So do you need me to explain why?

The CQC requires every GP practice to provide personalised care through the effective use of medicines and your will undoubtedly need to provide evidence of this at some time. You may also be finding the QOF more difficult to achieve. So here is the outline of a job description:

Prescribing policies. To write, train and maintain prescribing policies within the practice To manage risk. Policies on medicines storage (including vaccines), preparation, medicines administration, disposal and prescribing to ensure compliance with the Medicines Act 1968 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Prescribing systems. To ensure that the prescriptions are up-to-date, revised and changed according need patient needs or changing condition. That the ordering system is effective and appropriately managed.

Medication review. To ensure that all medicines are reviewed, computer-based reviews and running medication review clinics for those on complex regimens. To be a first source of information for patients about medicines.

Medicines and treatment reconciliation. To ensure appropriate systems in place for medicines reconciliation for all patients transferred out of and back into the practice. To rapidly assess all un-planned admissions and put arrangements in place for review and prevention of further admissions. To audit and feedback on all issues relating to discharge and out-patient letters that fall below contracted standards.

Medicines safety. To ensure compliance with patient safety agency requirements, control of infection reporting, critical incident reporting and to complete routine audits to ensure safety.

Medicines information. To ensure all practice staff have access to up-to-date medicines information in a format that supports patient engagement and education. To provide regular updating on clinical pathways, new medicines and NICE recommendations and guidelines.

Medicines optimisation. To support joint goal setting with patients and appropriate treatment selection. To support better patient medicines experience, reduced waste and improved outcomes within total care packages. To follow up identified patient groups, targeting better compliance with treatment to improve outcomes.

Liaison. To provide link function between the hospital and the local community pharmacy in the use of MUR and NMS services.

Development. To support the development of local services that reduce the workload within the practice. To work with both the CCG and the LA/PH to develop and support the delivery of services that improve the health of the local community.

QOF. To ensure data connectivity and practice organisation to deliver maximum QOF points for the practice. To regularly audit against QOF domains, improve risk stratification of patients and improve service targeting and delivery.

Service Advancement and Delivery. To deliver specific disease management clinics as required, through personal development and progression to Independent Prescriber status.


There is no doubt in my mind that a practice pharmacist, working to the practice requirements, can improve the effective use of medicines, provide assurance to the CQC and be a valued member of the practice team.


One thought on “The Pharmacist in General Practice

  1. excellent -where do I sign up?!
    so needed in practices I have worked in.
    meds management need to review systems and processes of prescribing and issuing prescriptions just as much as reviewing what is being prescribed. Clinically need to focus on minimizing risk of harm from unmonitored/unreviewed medicines and diseases. Don’t forget to consider de-prescribing as part of medication reviews.

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