Trainees in General Practice
The primary aim of this project is to increase dialogue and understanding between Community Pharmacy and General Practice, by placing pharmacy trainees alongside practice staff and GP trainees to better understand how the practice functions, and how pharmacists can aid many of these functions.
GP trainees have reciprocally spent time in community pharmacies, seeing how they treat and counsel patients and gaining a much deeper understanding of the services that are offered (in particular Medicines Use Reviews and the New Medicines Service). This in turn helps to create a more integrated healthcare workforce with a solid understanding of how colleagues across Primary Care can help each other and better take care of the patients they both share.
The trainees involved presented their experiences at events attended by multiple stakeholders; you can see many of their presentations by accessing the page below.
The project has just completed its third year and has grown organically, with each phase informing the next. Initially a small pilot was launched and a placement programme was designed. Pharmacy trainees underwent placements in April/May 2015, and participated in a full evaluation with their surgery supervisors.
Following this, a wider roll-out began in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, involving multiples, independents as well as sole traders. This in turn informed the launch of two sister projects in North, Central and East London. The first of these mirrors the KSS project but with the added enhancement of having GP/Pharmacy trainee pairings from the outset, with the second following the trainee programme template but involving qualified GP and pharmacist pairings. Increased participation means an increasing portfolio of community pharmacists with in-depth knowledge and pre-existing links with many more GP practices, with the potential to massively enhance the role of community pharmacy in the future.
Our work is constantly evaluated and we are now looking at how we can translate the learning from the various phases into more widespread placements. Project reports can be found via the page below.
In line with a recognised need for quality-assured community pharmacy tutors, all pharmacy tutors whose trainees undergo placements are enrolled on a regionally-managed tutor training programme, consisting of face to face training, e-learning modules and peer evaluation. This programme has been extended to include pharmacists across the geography who are not part of the placement project, and has provided the template for further tutor training opportunities through the HEE tutor training programme.
A few GP trainees have also spent time in community pharmacies, seeing how they treat and counsel patients and gaining a much deeper understanding of the services that are offered (in particular Medicines Use Reviews and the New Medicines Service). This in turn helps to create a more integrated healthcare workforce with a solid understanding of how colleagues in Primary Care can help each other and better take care of the patients they both share.