NHS England has approved more funding to increase the number of surgery-based clinical pharmacist posts in general practice.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is working with NHS England, Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the British Medical Association GP committee to roll out the expanded clinical pharmacist programme.

As part of an expansion to the NHS England scheme to include more clinical pharmacists in general practice, the funding should increase the number of pharmacists in general practice from 580 to over 1100. 

The increased clinical pharmacist provision will benefit over 3200 GP surgeries, amounting to over 40% of practices in England, covering nearly 34 million patients.

Clinical pharmacists offer expertise in medicine issues and can provide consultations, manage care for some long-term conditions earlier and more effectively, and provide advice to patients. This will free up more time for GPs to attend to patients with the greatest needs.

Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England Director of Primary Care, said: ‘Clinical pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge and skills to offer great patient care, in a more convenient way and are also taking some of the pressure off GPs, particularly at this time of year when we know demand is even greater than usual.