12 April 2017

Pharmacists Playing Increasingly Vital Role Within GP-Led Practice Teams

Responding to NHS England's announcement of plans to place pharmacists in over 700 more GP practices, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: 

“With family doctors are currently facing unprecedented resource and workforce pressures, we are grateful for the support of pharmacists who are playing an increasingly vital role within some GP practice teams. They should not be seen as substitutes for GPs but they are highly-skilled and well-trusted healthcare professionals who carry out important tasks such as medication reviews and managing repeat prescriptions for patients with long-term conditions.

“Wider roll out of NHS England’s programme to place pharmacists in GP surgeries to work as part of the wider practice team is excellent news for general practice, and our patients. It’s great to see something that started as a joint initiative between the College and our colleagues at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has come so far, so quickly.

“This initiative is already helping to cut waiting times for patients in some areas, and free up GPs’ time for patients who really need our clinical expertise. Of course, if a patient specifically needs to see a GP, then they will still be able to request this.

“The practice-based pharmacist initiative has been one of the initial successes of NHS England’s GP Forward View. We now need to ensure that the other pledges – including £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more full-time equivalent GPs by 2020 - are delivered swiftly and effectively in the best interests of general practice and our patients.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.