Working with GPs

Working with GPs

Community pharmacy teams need to work closely with colleagues in general practices in order to provide the best possible care for patients. Effective collaborative working is helped by GP and pharmacy teams understanding how their colleagues work on a day to day basis.

PSNC has worked with NHS Employers and the GP committee of the British Medical Association to develop guides to general practice and community pharmacy for pharmacy and GP teams respectively.

The community pharmacy – A guide for general practitioners and practice staff (July 2013) (PDF)

The GP practice – a guide for community pharmacists and pharmacy staff (August 2013) (PDF)


Advanced Services

The organisations have also published a briefing document for GP practices on Advanced Services:

NHS community pharmacy Advanced Services – a Briefing for GP practices (August 2013)
Please note, this briefing was produced in August 2013. In September 2014, NHS England and PSNC agreed that the percentage of MURs which pharmacy contractors must provide to patients within the MUR target groups in any given year would increase from 50% to 70%. The number of MUR target groups also increased from three to four with the addition of ‘patients at risk of or diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and regularly being prescribed at least four medicines’. An updated briefing will be published in due course to reflect the changes to MUR target groups that were agreed in September 2014 as well as details of the flu vaccination service, which was agreed in July 2015.

PSNC – Advanced Services PowerPoint presentation for GPs and hospital colleagues (October 2016)

PDF version of the PowerPoint (October 2016)

PSNC Briefing 062/16: Services Factsheet – NMS guide for other healthcare professionals (October 2016)

PSNC Briefing 061/16: Services Factsheet – MUR guide for other healthcare professionals (October 2016)

For information on referring patients to their GP practice, following provision of Advanced Services click on the following links:    MUR      NMS  

Repeat Dispensing

The organisations have also published a briefing document for GPs on repeat dispensing. The document includes:

  • what the repeat dispensing service is;
  • the benefits for both patients and GPs;
  • a number of tips for GPs on successful implementation of the service; and
  • examples of the most suitable patients to gain benefits from the service, for example, those with stable, long-term conditions.

The following presentation can be used in discussions with GP practices in order to demonstrate the similarity of repeat prescribing and EPS repeat dispensing and the additional benefits of using repeat dispensing:

Comparison of repeat dispensing and repeat prescribing (PowerPoint)

Comparison of repeat dispensing and repeat prescribing (PDF)

NHS England published Electronic Repeat Dispensing – Guidance in June 2015. This document clearly describes how Electronic Repeat Dispensing works and is aimed at CCGs and GP practice teams. Contractors may want to use the document in discussions with local GP practices about repeat dispensing.

Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

A key lesson has been that good communication and understanding between GP Practices and pharmacies is essential to ensure smooth introduction and running of EPS R2.

See here for further information.

Practice Pharmacists

NHS England announced in July 2015 a £15 million scheme to fund, recruit and employ clinical pharmacists in GP practices. This has since been increased to £31 million.

The pharmacists will offer a range of clinical care including helping patients to manage long-term conditions, giving advice on medications, managing repeat prescription requests and developing bespoke medicines plans for patients.

The initiative will focus on areas where GPs are under greatest pressure and is intended to ease GP workload and improve communication with other healthcare providers including community pharmacies.

The funding is part of the New Deal for General Practice and NHS England expects that around 300 pharmacists will be employed in the first wave of the programme.

The pilot will be part funded for three years with an expectation that practices will continue with the role into year four and beyond.

Responding to the announcement Sue Sharpe, PSNC Chief Executive, said:

“We are pleased that NHS England recognises the medicines expertise of pharmacists and the role that they can play to better support patients in their treatment plans. Pharmacists working in GP practices to supplement and support the care already given by GPs and community pharmacists could be a real advance, bringing clinical benefits to many patients. 

Community pharmacy teams are the most accessible healthcare professionals and often the ones who are seen most regularly by patients. They have shown how they can help patients and we must build on this potential, with pharmacists in other settings collaborating closely with them to ensure patients are receiving joined up and consistent care. We hope that this project will give community and other pharmacists a chance to explore new ways of working, and perhaps training, together to offer the best possible care to patients.”

Related resources

The GP contract

NHS England webpage on the GP contract

PSNC Briefing 027/16: General Practice Forward View (May 2016)
The General Practice Forward View (GPFV), sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion-pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice. It has been developed by NHS England with Health Education England (HEE) and in discussion with the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and other GP representatives.

The GPFV document contains specific practical and funded steps on investment, workforce, workload, infrastructure and care redesign. This PSNC Briefing summarises the elements of the plan which are of most relevance to community pharmacy.

PSNC Briefing 020/16: Changes to the GMS contract in 2016/17 (March 2016)
This briefing sets out a summary of the key changes to the General Medical Services contract in England for 2016/17, which may be of relevance to community pharmacy teams. These changes have been agreed between NHS Employers, on behalf of NHS England and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee.

PSNC Briefing 012/16: Update on Patient Facing Services (PFS) (February 2016)
This PSNC Briefing describes patient facing services (PFS) being provided via NHS and GP IT systems. Such services increasingly allow patients to use the internet to view their electronic medical record, order repeat prescriptions, communicate with their GP practice and book GP appointments. Community pharmacy teams may want to ensure they understand how these services are being used in their area in order to allow them to provide appropriate advice to patients.

PSNC Briefing 027/14: The Proactive Care Programme (November 2014)
Following on from PSNC Briefing 026/14: Transforming Primary Care: Safe, proactive, personalised care for those who need it most, this briefing provides more detail on the Proactive Care Programme, which was one of the main proposals in the Transforming Primary Care document.

PSNC Briefing 010/14: Changes to the GMS contract in 2014/15 (update) (April 2014) 
This briefing updates PSNC Briefing 107/13 which summarised the changes being introduced to the GMS contract in April 2014. This briefing incorporates extra information on the changes, following the publication of briefings on the changes to the contract by NHS Employers. It highlights those aspects of the changes that may have an impact on community pharmacies.

PSNC Briefing 009/14: NHS England’s emerging findings from the general practice Call to Action (April 2014)
In late 2013 NHS England undertook a national engagement exercise to seek people’s views on the future of general practice. Improving General Practice – A Call to Action followed the main Call to Action process which had commenced in the summer of 2013, aimed at patients and the public. 

In March 2014 NHS England published a summary of the responses to the general practice CTA and its emerging findings. The report focuses on the central role NHS England wants general practice to play in wider systems of primary care, and it describes their ambition for greater collaboration with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the commissioning of general practice services.

This PSNC Briefing provides a summary of the key elements of the document.

PSNC Briefing 107/13: Changes to the GMS contract in 2014/15 (December 2013)
This briefing summarises changes being introduced to the GMS contract (the GP contract) in 2014/15 and highlights those aspects of the changes that may have an impact on community pharmacies.

PSNC Briefing 089/13: Changes to the GMS contract in 2013/14 and development of a strategic framework (September 2013)
This briefing is an update to a briefing issued earlier in 2013 (PSNC Briefing 047/13) which summarises the changes to the GMS contract in 2013/14 and highlights those aspects of the changes that may have an impact on community pharmacies. The briefing also highlights the NHS England call to action for general practice which was published in mid-August 2013 as part of the wider development of a primary care strategic framework.  

PSNC Briefing 047/13: Changes to the GMS contract in 2013/14 (May 2013)
This PSNC Briefing provides a brief summary of the changes to the GMS contract which the Department of Health has decided to impose on general practices, following negotiations between NHS Employers and the GP Committee of the BMA and a subsequent consultation process.



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