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Pharmacists to be based in Southwark GP practices

The range of services available to patients in Southwark will expand with the introduction of clinical pharmacists in GP practices.

The borough's two GP Federations, Quay Health Solutions in the north and Improving Health in the south, have both been successful in securing funding from NHS England under the Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice programme to provide pharmacists based in member practices.

Pharmacists are experts in medicines. They can resolve day to day medicine issues and consult directly with patients, hospitals and community pharmacies, as well as provide advice and help manage long-term conditions such as high blood pressure.  The aim is for the pharmacists to also be trained to prescribe medicines and so provide much needed support to GPs, helping to free up GP time.

Rebecca Dallmeyer, Executive Director of Quay Health Solutions and a pharmacist, said: "We are really pleased to be working with all our member practices and pharmacists in local hospitals and community pharmacies to deliver integrated and comprehensive medicines services to local people.  By working together we will be able to provide consistent care, where each member of the healthcare team contributes their skills and knowledge to support individual patients and our populations to get the most out of their medicines every day."

Dr Martin Iu, Director of Improving Health and a GP at Nunhead Surgery, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for our practices and patients to benefit from working with pharmacists, who can support them to manage complex and long term conditions like asthma, diabetes and hypertension.  Having them as part of the practice team will provide invaluable expertise and knowledge and will support GPs and practice nurses to provide the best possible care for our patients."

NHS Southwark CCG is committed to bringing services closer to patients. The pharmacists are expected to begin work within practices during next year.