The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has spoken out about the increased role that community pharmacy could play in primary care for the second time in a week.
Maureen Baker, the chair of the RCGP, highlighted the potential for community pharmacists to be employed by GP practices to carry out medication reviews. Speaking at the national Best Practice conference in Birmingham on 26 October 2014, she said medication reviews were “hugely time consuming” for GPs.
“There are pharmacy skills out there, and let’s see quick, safe ways to get those skills into general practice,” she said.
Her comments, reported in Pulse and confirmed by the RCGP, come less than a week after RCGP honorary secretary Nigel Mathers backed the call by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) for a national minor ailments service in England run by community pharmacists. He said it made sense to establish the service, which would take pressure off GPs and busy hospital emergency departments.
The comments by Baker and Mathers were welcomed by the RPS’s English Pharmacy Board chairman Dave Branford. “It’s great that our campaign for greater roles for pharmacists has got backing from the RCGP,” he said. “It makes perfect sense that pharmacists and GPs work more closely together to provide better patient care. Reinforcement from GPs that an integrated approach is needed strengthens our case with NHS England further still.”