What can clinical pharmacists do within primary care?
Roles of a clinical pharmacy in a surgery or PCN setting might include:
- Working with GPs and patients to resolve day-to-day medication queries
- supporting person-centred care and shared decision making around medicines
- Structured medication reviews (SMR)
- Triaging and managing common ailments as well as supporting care navigation to the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS)
- Managing and prescribing for long term conditions (often with practice nurses or other clinical staff)
- Helping deliver aspects of QOF and IIF (impact and investment fund)
- Multi-disciplinary case reviews, which may include work as part of the enhanced health in care home indicators
- Face-to-face or telephone consultations with patients
- Supporting with medication changes for patients recently discharged from hospital
- Quality improvement work and medical education
- Overseeing practice/PCN’s repeat prescription policy
- Many clinical pharmacists will support supervision and training of other staff and trainees as well
The video below can be useful for patients or other staff within the PCN as a simple guide to the clinical pharmacist role.
Exciting career opportunities in pharmacy with team Gloucestershire.
Training and supervision
Pre-requisites – Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree or equivalent and registered with General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/
Training pathway and supervision – training in primary care is through the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE – Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education). Please see pcpep-brochure.pdf (cppe.ac.uk) for full details. This is an 18 month pathway including 28 dedicated study days. During this time the clinical pharmacist will be supported by CPPE, however a clinical supervisor from the practice or PCN is required as well. The clinical supervisor will usually be a GP or senior clinical pharmacist. If a clinical pharmacist is not already an independent prescriber (IP) they are expected to go onto undertake IP training. For further guidance on the timing of IP training please see the following Primary care pharmacy education pathway : CPPE.
Induction – ensuring clinical pharmacists are embedded and well supported in their role within your practice/PCN is vital. An induction program can provide a great way to start this process. Below is a sample induction plan template that can be tailored to suit. Please note the Gloucestershire Primary Care Training hub will soon be offering a half day induction program to staff new to primary care. Further details to be announced.
Induction pack bARNET pRIMARY CARE (barnetcepn.org.uk) (this induction pack is from Barnet training hub. You may find page 20 onwards helpful).
Peer support – peer support can be invaluable at all stages of your career, and in particular starting out within primary care. For those undertaking the CPPE pathway this will likely provide some peer support. We would encourage you to reach out to other clinical pharmacists in your PCN to form a peer support group, if one doesn’t already exist. If you are struggling to establish a peer support group please contact the training hub for guidance. We have a Senior PCN Pharmacy Telegram Group and a Gloucestershire PCN Clinical Pharmacy Group. The ICB (Integrated Care Board) hold regular information and development sessions for PCN Clinical Pharmacists.
For an Example recruitment pack from NHS futures, please click here.
Further job descriptions and interview questions please visit Job Descriptions – PCPA.
More information, including case studies can be found at NHS England » Clinical pharmacists.
Guide for GPs considering employing a pharmacist Guide for GP’s.indd (pcpa.org.uk)
Day in the life of a Clinical pharmacist A day in the life of a GP pharmacist – The Pharmaceutical Journal (pharmaceutical-journal.com)