GPC has been heavily involved in the design of this pilot and sees this as another step in the right direction towards reducing workload pressures and improving recruitment. This scheme is of course by no means the answer, but is part of a series of initiatives that we hope will ensure struggling practices get the sustained resources they need to safely manage their workload.
The pilot will be comprehensively evaluated by an independent academic institution and NHS England plans to invest at least £350,000 in this evaluation process.
Click here for further information about the pilot, including links to the application form and FAQs.
The Pilot Proposal
It will be funded for three years with an expectation that practices will continue with the role into year four and beyond. NHS England will provide practices with match funding of 60% in the first year, 40% in the second year and 20% in the third year. It is anticipated that in the region of 250 clinical pharmacists will be involved over this period.
The focus will be on areas of greatest need where GPs are under significant pressure, and the pilot should build on the success of those GP practices already employing pharmacists in patient-facing roles. Practices working collaboratively, multi-site practices or GP networks / federations that are interested in offering patients different approaches to accessing care will be able to bid for funding.
The pilot proposal has two grades of clinical pharmacist working together:
- experienced clinical pharmacists who will be prescribers or working towards to prescribing qualifications and who will begin to see patients immediately, whilst developing additional skills such as leadership and change management;
- less experienced clinical pharmacists will be employed as part of the same development programme, working with and mentored by the experienced pharmacists, developing their clinical skills in the context of general practice with the intention of taking on prescribing responsibilities in the course of the programme.
The deadline for applications is Thursday 17th September and a decision will be taken on successful bids around mid-October.
The partner organisations have agreed that a series of roadshows will be held throughout the application period in the eight regions with the highest levels of deprivation and the lowest GP training recruitment rates. GPC will provide further information to LMCs about this once the eight regions have been confirmed by NHS England.
In due course, LMCs and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) will be invited to host the roadshows, and provided with funding from NHS England to do so, as LMCs/LPCs are best placed to bring together the various stakeholders who have an interest and need to be involved in this pilot, e.g. GPs, pharmacists, NHS England area teams, Local Education and Training Boards and CCGs.