New pharmacy target in GPs set to improve access

The NHS is set to expand its programme of basing pharmacists at its medical practices. The move is part of an initiative called GPFV, or GP Forward View, and is considered a significant step toward more integrated medical care.

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Investment in the country’s health

The Government has already invested more than £30 million to establish more than 450 pharmacists to serve around 700 medical practices. For more information on GPFV, see this report on other issues raised in The Guardian.

The Government is set to commit some £112 million to the next phase of the plan, which should see a further 1,500 pharmacist staff integrated with many hundreds more pharmacies across the country. In a recent assessment of the programme, the Royal College of General Practitioners, or RCGP, stated that a further 2,000 pharmacists were set to be working with physicians in medical practices by 2021.

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Future plans

In general, GPs welcome pharmacists joining the staff of medical practices, although many of them say they are concerned about what happens when the present funding runs out. Many GPs think that the funding should continue on an ongoing basis and that the initiative could even be expanded to accommodate a larger number of pharmacists. Funding is the critical issue, both to pay for staff and to give the programme longevity and stability. However, some research indicates that a number of GPs are impressed with the difference that having pharmacists as part of their team makes and would somehow endeavour to keep their pharmacists in the practice even if the funding dried up.

Having a pharmacy in the medical practice means that medications are more easily accessible for everyone. Of course, keeping a range of medicines on hand in a pharmacy means having the correct storage equipment in place, including pharmacy freezers. If you want to find out more about pharmacy freezers and what they have to offer, you might consider contacting a specialist freezer supplier such as for help and advice on this topic.

For most patients, it would appear that a more integrated approach to medicine means more joined-up care and greater efficiency in seeing medical staff and obtaining necessary medications. Investment in the NHS and supporting its work and continuing excellence can benefit everyone.