The respondents were a broad representation of population levels across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Photo: iStock

The number of general practice pharmacists across the country are rising significantly, according to a recent survey.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) survey saw an increase from 28 per cent in 2017 to 46 per cent in 2019 in the number of pharmacists working solely in general practice.

The survey offers an insight into what pharmacists across the UK are doing in general practice and how they are getting on. The respondents were a broad representation of population levels across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Across the UK, 66 per cent respondents were paid a salary equivalent to band 8a or above, which differs with the funding provided for PCN pharmacists posts suggesting practices may need to consider contributing more than 30% of a band 7 salary to secure an appropriately experienced pharmacist.

More than half of the pharmacists think the formation of PCNs would not impact on their employment, but many are still uncertain or lack clarity.

The most common services provided by GP pharmacists are providing medicine-related advice, reconciling medicines from discharges and letters, medication reviews and, supporting initiatives for cost-effective and high-quality prescribing.

A majority of 85 per cent among the respondents were either independent prescribers or those working towards a qualification. The highest proportion of IPs was in Scotland – 97 percent, while the lowest of 60 per cent was in Wales.

However, only 14 per cent of the respondents had pursued Advanced Clinical Practitioner training and more than 50 per cent of the practising GP pharmacists in England were not accessing the ‘Clinical Pharmacist’ training pathway.

The survey had 740 responses and was open for five weeks over May and June this year.

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