Better GP-pharmacist relations to ease frustrations with 'disjointed' NHS

Better integration between GPs and community pharmacists will help ease patients' frustrations with 'disjointed' NHS services, health minister Earl Howe has said.

Earl Howe: 'Recommendations will help break down the barriers that can often exist between GPs and community pharmacists to get the best care for patients.'
Earl Howe: 'Recommendations will help break down the barriers that can often exist between GPs and community pharmacists to get the best care for patients.'

Launching guidance on joint working across the two professions, Earl Howe said stronger integration was at the heart of the government’s NHS reforms.

‘If there's one big frustration many patients have, it's that the NHS can seem a bit disjointed,’ he said.

‘That is why these recommendations are so important. They will help break down the barriers that can often exist between GPs and community pharmacists to get the best care for patients.’

The guidance has been jointly produced by the RCGP and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It sets out 62 ways to break down barriers between GPs and community pharmacists.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said the recommendations represented ‘a really positive move towards truly joined-up care for the health service of the future’.

‘In these financially and structurally challenging times, integration across professional boundaries is so important to improving the quality of care we provide to our patients.'

The recommendations contained within this new statement paper detail clearly the way forward for GPs and pharmacists to get the very most out of their mutual professional relationships, and translate this into improved, consistent care for the patients in their communities.’

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