Role Description & Competencies: Clinical Pharmacist

Clinical Pharmacists work 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. The role is pivotal to improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.

Having a clinical pharmacist in GP practices means GPs can focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions. This helps GPs manage the demands on their time.

What are the benefits of having a Clinical Pharmacist in the team?

  • Relieves the pressure on GP’s time, allows them to focus their skills where they are most needed, for example on diagnosing and treating patients with more complex conditions
  • Reduces waiting times for appointments
  • Provides continuity of care for patients with long term conditions
  • Helps patients to get the most from their medicines
  • reduces wastage and overuse of medicines
  • reduces unplanned admissions to A&E

What can a Clinical Pharmacist do in General Practice?

Some of the skills that the Clinical Pharmacist would be able to demonstrate safely are:

  • Help the practice deliver on the QIPP and QOF
  • Work with doctors and patients to address medicine adherence, reducing the wastage and overuse of medicines
  • Monitor patients’ blood results, focusing on potential harm that can come from long-term use of medicines or poor compliance
  • Review patients on complex medicine regimens/ with ongoing health problems
  • Support doctors by highlighting changes in NICE guidelines
  • Triage and manage common ailments
  • Take part in multi-disciplinary case reviews
  • Deal with medication for patients recently discharged from hospital, including liaison with hospital, community and primary care colleagues
  • Work with the practice team to deliver repeat prescription reviews, especially for care home residents, people prescribed polypharmacy and frail older people
  • Look at how best practice is integrated into care processes and improve the quality of patient care, ensuring patient safety
  • Manage and prescribe* for long term condition patients

*once they have completed an independent prescribing course

What is the maximum reimbursable amount for primary care organisations to recruit this role?

£55,670 over 12 months (2020-21)

What is the recommended salary for a Clinical Pharmacist?

In general practice, a Clinical Pharmacist’s salary can be negotiated, although there is a suggested range based on experience:

  • new graduates -Band 6 AFC equivalent
  • 2-5 years post-qualification – Band 7 AFC equivalent 
  • Advanced Practitioner/ Independent Prescriber- Band 8A equivalent

(£31,383 – £48,034)

Is there any additional support available to support the recruitment of Clinical Pharmacists into General Practice?

Please visit the Initiatives/ Support available link at the bottom of this page to find out more. 

What are Clinical Pharmacists trained to do?

All qualified pharmacists have undergone either a 3 or 4-year degree and 12 months of ‘on the job’ training as a preregistration pharmacist before taking their final exams. Following qualification they will undertake foundation training, after which they may then undertake postgraduate study, which could be:

  • A prescribing qualification
  • A clinical diploma in community pharmacy
  • A research qualification (e.g. Master’s degree)
  • A physical assessment module

What additional training would a Clinical Pharmacist need to work in General Practice?

  • Use of surgery computer systems
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework and the QIPP agenda
  • Clinical coding
  • Clinical and information governance
  • Safeguarding for adults and children
  • Management of the practice’s repeat prescribing system

Download the Professional Standards for Public Health Practice for Pharmacy here: (Royal Pharmaceutical Society)

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