North Somerset GPs to welcome pharmacists to ease pressure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2017

GP surgeries in North Somerset will introduce pharmacists to help ease pressure.

GP surgeries in North Somerset will introduce pharmacists to help ease pressure.

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GPs across North Somerset will welcome pharmacists to their practices in the hope it will ease the pressure on doctors and reduce waiting times for patients.

This new scheme has been granted funding and is being rolled out in 46 surgeries across North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Clinical pharmacists will be on hand to provide expert advice to patients, and some will be able to prescribe specific medication.

Dr Jeremy Maynard is a GP at Tower House Medical Centre in Nailsea and he told the Times the role of a GP has changed dramatically over the past few years and this could help patients with more specialist and chronic conditions.

He said: “As GPs we are expected to manage a lot more patients in primary care than hospital services.

“That means GPs are getting more involved in complex patients. Twenty years ago my job was very different.

“My job is now so much more
about chronic conditions and provisions.

“You find when people come in with three or four things, appointments take longer. But we still have the 10-minute timeframe.

“That is why GPs are often running slow.”

The funding comes from NHS England’s General Practice Forward View which has pledged more than £100million to deliver 1,500 pharmacists in GP surgeries across the country by 2020/21.

By introducing pharmacists, the hope is they can see patients who are taking multiple medications and have conditions which need continual management.

Dr Maynard added: “In North Somerset, people are getting older and living longer with more medical conditions.

“We can end up spending a lot of our time working out medications for patients and when you have surgery from 8.30am, this can take up a lot of time.

“Pharmacists are experts on this and some can be trained to prescribe medicines themselves, which would be even more beneficial.

“I think this is great for North Somerset and it is being rolled out in a number of surgeries which do not have pharmacies on-site.

“My practice does, but this can only be a positive thing.

“Everyone in the health service – and any other job really – is under a lot of pressure, so this should help with the problem of long waiting times at GP surgeries.

“We are hoping to see progress very soon.”

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