We are frequently asked about the difference between the roles of CCG Medicines Optimisation Pharmacists and GP Pharmacists.
It is important to understand the distinction between the roles and responsibilities between the two as this may be of consideration between which role you may want to pursue.
CCG pharmacists have been around for a while and the remit of their role will focus on wider CCG priorities that exist around prescribing. CCG priorities are typically based on cost effective prescribing and around improving the quality of prescribing. These are a part of larger QIPP agenda a CCG has approved for the year.
You can read more about QIPP HERE.
The NHS overall has a funding shortfall and is now asking CCGs to find these efficiency savings across the country.
Cost effective prescribing has always been on the radar of CCGs as these savings can be identified at a health economy level and audited before and after. Due to the easily quantifiable nature of drug budget savings these will always feature on the annual QIPP work streams.
Examples of cost effective prescribing can include (will vary area to area):
- Quetiapine XL prescribing to immediate release.
- Emollients to a cheaper branded generic range.
- Promote cost effective dry eye preparations.
Examples of quality prescribing include:
- Optimise prescribing and outcomes for adult asthma and COPD patients through patient reviews.
- Review patients being prescribed oral nutritional supplements and reduce inappropriate prescribing and appropriate onward referral.
- Facilitate training/education to support reviews in patients taking medication which may impair renal function and cause AKI.
CCG pharmacists will work on the medicines related of the QIPP programme and will be allocated a number of surgeries in the CCG.
The time allocation per surgery may depend on a number of factors but will usually be based around their patient list size, therefore, those with larger numbers will have more time allocated to them and visit on a weekly, bi-weekly basis to each site to undertake these tasks.
QIPP related projects particularly in prescribing generate more savings than they cost and additionally lead to improved prescribing across a number of clinical domains.
Pharmacists based in General Practice will have a different remit to their role but may include elements of the role undertaken by CCG pharmacists.
GP Pharmacists will be more so an integral member of the multidisciplinary team in the GP practice.
The role of a GP pharmacist will be to assist in the direct workload of the GP surgery and this may be based around the following activities (not exhaustive):
- Discharge advice note reconciliation.
- Repeat prescription management.
- Dealing with acute medication requests.
- Medication reviews.
- Redesign medication pathways.
- Long term condition clinics.
- Formulary management.
By virture of undertaking these tasks, a GP pharmacist may also undertake some of the QIPP work, for example, whilst undertaking a medication review a more cost effective alternative may be issued.
A GP Pharmacist will make a tangible difference to the workload in a GP setting by taking on the above tasks.
Understanding the distinction between these two roles will allow a pharmacy professional to make an appropriate and informed decision into which role they see as the best fit for them.
If you require any further information, then do not hesitate to get in touch:
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