'Pharmacists should do GPs' work, say MPs

GPs may lose quality framework work worth up to £8,000 to community pharmacists, a report this week by parliament's All Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) has suggested.

'Pharmacists should do GPs' work, say MPs
'Pharmacists should do GPs' work, say MPs

GPC negotiators have warned that handing GP services to pharmacists would fragment care and be damaging to patients.

The APPG report recommends expanding the role of community pharmacists to free up GP time to take on more specialised hospital work.

The APPG and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have proposed that management of patients with long-term stable conditions, minor illnesses, chlamydia screening, diabetes screening and obesity become the responsibility of community pharmacists. These clinical areas carry 68 quality framework points, worth more than £8,000 to an average practice.

Dartford Labour MP and GP Dr Howard Stoate, chairman of the APPG, 'doubted' whether the hospital work that GPs would have to take on would be incorporated into the quality framework to replace the lost clinical areas. He stressed that it was important that GPs did not lose out financially.

The APPG report states that: 'The DoH should work on establishing incentives in the GMS contract to encourage GPs to engage in collaborative working with community pharmacists'.

But GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that he did not think that GPs would lose work to pharmacists.

'Once you start breaking care up into little bits you make continuity of care very difficult and patients want continuity,' he said.

North London GP Dr Richard Ma, a member of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, warned that there was a lack of evidence to show how effective pharmacists were in conducting chlamydia screening.

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