A day in a life of… a practice pharmacist

I am an independent prescribing pharmacist working in a GP surgery. I am involved in a wide range of tasks, continuously working on improving the management of our daily workload.

My typical day consists of the following:

8:30am – 11am – repeat prescription queries/clinical post

I work closely with the reception and admin team members at the surgery to help streamline repeat prescription services. I help with conducting medicines reconciliation from discharge summaries, and treatment recommendation letters from secondary care – this work can help to reduce the GP admin workload by even up to 25%!

11am – 13:00 – helping Duty Dr telephone triage list and seeing patients where appropriate

I help out with the duty Dr’s telephone triage list for medication related queries and minor ailments, and also identify which patients need to be seen (either by myself or a GP) for further investigation. This also reduces the pressure on GP’s daily workload and frees up their appointment slots to deal with the more complex and urgent cases.

13:30- 14:00 – admin time to catch up on any referrals or queries from the clinic 

14:00 – 17:00 –  face to face patient clinic – seeing patients for minor ailments, complex medication reviews and long term conditions reviews 

I run clinics for minor ailments, complex medication reviews and long-term conditions which helps with both GP and nurse workload to help to achieve the clinical QOF (The Quality and Outcomes Framework) targets.

17:00- 18:30 – (more) admin/audit incentive scheme work/medication queries

Other area that I contribute to (on a periodic basis or in protected time) is helping the surgery meet their medicines management prescribing incentives and audit work, including local enhanced services and direct enhanced services.

“This in turn helps the surgery achieve their targets and earn incentivised rewards for the practice, whilst also encouraging cost effective prescribing, thus saving NHS money.

As an additional part of this work, I have already identified and updated the templates used on our system (EMIS). Now we will be able to meet our targets whilst ensuring that we also continuously document and code clinically important data to improve the quality of our reviews.

Additional areas of work

I also proactively liaise with the GP partners to identify further clinical areas that I could work on to help improve the quality of patient care. For instance, creating searches on the system identifying large numbers of asthma patients on LABAs (Long-Acting Beta-Agonists) with no steroids, and setting up clinics to review these patients and optimise their therapy to eventually improve asthma outcomes. As part of improving patient experience, I have also developed a new way to manage patients with multiple long-term conditions, where they come for all their reviews with the relevant health care professional (GP/Health Care Assistant/nurse/pharmacist) on 1 day. This way we can manage all their issues through multi disciplinary team clinics. This also enables us to reduce the likelihood of patients going to hospital.

“Discussing new and innovative ideas of how to improve patient experience whilst also enhancing the quality of care, as well as meeting our targets is key for us and has been extremely successful. It involves a team approach and we meet at regular clinical meetings to discuss and continuously adjust and improve the way in which this is undertaken.

Attending weekly clinical meetings and quarterly Patient Participation Group meetings also helps me to network with the surgery and its patients. There I can explain what my role is and encourage patients to attend and book appointments to my clinics. I am also able to provide education and training to all colleagues interested in improving medicines safety within the practice.

We can all benefit from working together

GP support and direction is essential for upskilling the whole team, and identifying areas for improvement, training or CPD needs. The GPs that I work with, and the partners at the practice, as well as the wider team encourage new and innovative ways of working. They embrace change, especially if they see improvements in efficiency or quality of care that we are providing to our patients. I am learinig a lot from the practice team and I am grateful for the support and training suggestions, which help to improve my current skillset.

“It has been an exciting journey so far and I can foresee this area of pharmacy only growing and expanding, which will further reduce the ever growing pressures on general practice. This is also an exciting time for pharmacists to showcase their skills and their ever growing potential.

-Gupinder Syan, GP Pharmacist 

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