PSNC and the BMA have published a guide for GPs on how community pharmacy works, with the aim of facilitating collaborative work between the two sectors in the developing Primary Care Networks.
The community pharmacy – A guide for general practitioners and practice staff is an updated version of a briefing first published in 2010. A complementary guide on GP practices for community pharmacy teams is currently being updated.
The guide explains the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework and sets out how pharmacists are trained and the roles they carry out – from essential services such as dispensing to ‘advanced’ and locally commissioned services.
It also covers areas such as how community pharmacy is funded, medicines reimbursement, and the functions of each member of the pharmacy team.
An FAQ section covers topics such as whether pharmacy teams “advise patients about the minimal health benefits of some OTC medicines,” which members of the pharmacy team can access patient records, and who sets the reimbursement costs for ‘specials’ preparations.
BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said the two sectors “already work closely together on a day-to-day basis – and with a greater focus on the benefits of community-based care, this is only going to increase”.
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton commented that the updated guide was “very timely, as general practitioners across England are actively starting to build local Primary Care Networks”.
“Full engagement of community pharmacy in the work of PCNs will be easier to achieve where local GPs and their teams have a clear understanding of how community p
PSNC recommends that community pharmacy teams and LPCs promote the guide to local GPs and Local Medical Committees “to aid conversations on the transformation of primary care”.