Integrating pharmacists in primary care: implications for public health
PHE ePoster Library. Greenfield G. 09/10/18; 221356; 208
Dr. Geva Greenfield
Dr. Geva Greenfield
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Abstract Background: Increasing workload in NHS primary care threatens the provision of safe and effective care. Sufficient growth in the General Practitioner workforce is unlikely, so pharmacists working in primary care may potentially fill an important public health function, providing chronic disease management, patient education and medicine optimisation.Method: We carried out a narrative review of the literature, aiming to describe the potential benefits of integration of pharmacists in primary care for patients and healthcare services.Findings: Pharmacists can improve patient safety and are skilled at identifying and solving medication related problems. They can also have an important role in chronic disease monitoring, with positive impact on conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Pharmacists have further potential to free up GP time through carrying out administrative tasks such as issuing repeat prescriptions, carrying out medication reviews, and auditing of performance related aspects of practice, potentially improving access to GPs. However, challenges remain in integration of pharmacists into general practices, with some professionals resistant to this, and potential for conflict with the role of community-based pharmacists.Conclusion: Pharmacists based in primary care may serve an important public health function, with potential impact in improving prescribing safety, health outcomes and access. Further integration of pharmacists in NHS Primary Care is already taking place, and there is need for further research to assess the impact on safety, quality and access. External funding details This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Northwest London (NIHR CLAHRC NWL). The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.
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