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In 2015 Stellar Healthcare was successful in bidding for a three year pilot to test the role of clinical pharmacists working in general practice.

The clinical pharmacists employed so far have been working as part of the general practice team to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing extra help to manage long-term conditions, advice for those on multiple medications and better access to health checks.

MEET OUR PHARMACISTS

We have three pharmacists working within general practice, read more about them below:

Background 

I qualified in 2004, and did my pre-registration in community pharmacy then I went on to be a group pharmacy manager for Boots. I trained three pre-registration pharmacists and was a direct line manager to nine pharmacists at one point and professional line manager to several more. I sat on the Local Pharmacy Committee and developed and oversaw various clinics such as weight loss to flu vaccination clinics and carried out professional audits across stores within my area. I also worked part-time in Kings outpatient pharmacy for nine months before joining Stellar Healthcare. I am currently due to complete my non-medical prescribing course in July 2017. 

Why I wanted to get involved with the pilot…

I saw the pilot as a great opportunity for me to try something new. Coming from community I already had a bit of background working with GPs but in a non-clinical role from their point of view. To me, it was a role that would combine great patient care; that is so familiar to a community pharmacist; with the added benefit of providing a more clinical service. The pilot also provided a structured training programme for those changing sector which is what this was for me, and professional development in the form of the Non-medical Independent Prescribing Course. 

My role 

I work across two practices in Harlow and Epping. My role is constantly evolving and I expect it to continue to do so. It can range from supporting the prescribing clerks with some of the queries that would have traditionally gone to the doctors to liaising with the wider healthcare team such as hospital nurses and consultants to deal with hospital drug requests.

I have a medication query clinic for patients in the afternoons as part of the duty urgent care team. I have also started supporting GPs with hypertension clinics, this will be my scope of practice as a Non-Medical Prescriber. 

My aspirations

I look forward to developing as a valuable member of the clinician team in my surgeries. I feel that there is scope to impact several clinical areas as a pharmacist but also non-clinical areas such as coaching and supporting our reception and prescription teams to develop. The future is bright I feel for any pharmacist that is embracing this evolving role.

Background

I’ve been qualified as pharmacist for over five years and have always worked in the community sector. I started working for large chain pharmacy groups as a relief pharmacist and later pharmacy manager. I enjoy working in a busy and dynamic environment which equipped me well to be adaptable and work well as a team; both essential skills needed to work within general practice. My next role was a pharmacy manager for an independent pharmacy where I set up an in-house travel clinic where I undertook a travel risk assessment, administered travel vaccinations and supplied anti- malarial treatment. Within this part of my role, I started considering a more clinical role and enjoyed being more patient facing. I am soon to complete the Non-medical Independent Prescribing Course. 

Why I wanted to get involved with the pilot……

I wanted to shift my career towards a clinical role that better uses my consultation skills and medicines expertise. I’ve always worked best part of a team and general practice is an environment of multi-disciplinary, peer-to -peer working lies at the core making this a prospective new career I could thrive in. Being at the cutting edge of the transformation of the pharmacist role is exciting and celebrates the skill set pharmacists have to offer wanted to shift my career towards a clinical role and the role as a GP based clinical pharmacists was a great option. Being part of the first cohort of the pilot scheme is both exciting as were paving the way for future pharmacist and celebrates the skill set that pharmacists have to offer. 

My role 

My time is split between both The Rivers Surgery and Ongar Health Centre where I carry out polypharmacy medication reviews, telephone consultations with patients who have medication related queries, medicines optimisation clinics and action prescription queries. The role has allowed me to develop my clinical knowledge and work collaboratively with GPs and nurses to develop a patient facing role, which helps meet the needs of the surgery and improve patient outcomes and safety. The role also helps support practice efficiency (financial and process) through audits, reception staff training and developing protocols. My scope of practice is diabetes and I hope to be running diabetic clinics soon.

My aspirations

To develop more long term condition management and acute illness clinics run by pharmacist and be embedded in the team as an indispensable source, through growing my knowledge base and working collaboratively with the team to develop a niche for clinical pharmacist. Exciting times ahead!

Background 

I qualified in 2006 and gained experience working in a variety of different places including Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, Boots as a store manager and care homes before going to work at NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) as Respiratory Lead Pharmacist. As part of this role I got involved with a variety of projects such as the respiratory Right Care Expert Advisory Group, as a coach and team leader of NESTA 100 day challenges and with the Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Team. I then completed my Non-medical Independent Prescribing Course.

Why I wanted to get involved with the pilot…

The commissioning of new services by the NHS is leading to exciting developments within the pharmacy profession and Stellar healthcare is in a unique position to be a trailblazer and champion innovation within this field, which is what attracted me to this role. As senior clinical pharmacist I wanted to utilise this opportunity to demonstrate both the value and need for pharmacists to be an integral part of the GP practice team.

My role

Every day presents with a range of numerous medicines queries which are challenging and impact on patient safety and my role is to support practices to resolve these for our patients.

As a prescriber and respiratory pharmacist I have scheduled clinics where I review and treat patients who have long term conditions such as COPD and heart failure. I also have telephone and face to face acute care triage clinics.

My aspirations

I would like to continue to develop as a clinician and grow my knowledge base so that I may provide a wider range of services in the future. 

However, to achieve this I feel it is essential to develop the skills of our prescribing clerks, embed good practice and work more effectively with key stakeholders to resolve many of the underlying causes of these queries which will improve patient care. 

I believe that by developing and working with colleagues as part of an integrated team within GP practices we can improve patient safety and support with the demands and pressure facing our primary care colleagues.

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