NHS England has confirmed that it is increasing the number of pharmacists who will be employed directly in GP surgeries as part of the £15m pilot project announced in July 2015.
The organisation was unable to say how many more pharmacists would be taken on in addition to the 250 first planned when details about the scheme were released in the summer.
“There is some extra investment in the scheme to put pharmacists in GP practices coming, but it’s in the early stages and we can’t confirm any further information immediately as the details are still being worked out,” says a spokesperson for NHS England.
Under the pilot, a clinical pharmacist will be employed by a GP practice to help manage patients with long-term conditions, create medicine plans and provide day-to-day medicines support. Pharmacists will be recruited in areas where GPs are under the greatest pressure because of workload.
Funding has been made available to pay pharmacists’ salaries — 60% in the first year; 40% in the second year and dropping to 20% in the final year of the pilot, which launches this year and is due to finish in 2018. When the pilot ends it is expected that the pharmacist will be an integral part of the practice team and that the practice will pick up the total salary bill.