How working with a GP practice pharmacist helps me and improves patient care: a community view

Reena Patelby Reena Patel, Watmans Pharmacy, London

About me
I have worked in community pharmacy since qualifying in 2010, when I have since been a locum. More recently, I’ve worked in a pharmacy situated inside a GP Practice for the last three years. I am currently studying for a clinical diploma in order to enhance my clinical skills and enable me to provide a better service to my patients.

My top 3 tips to get the most out of a newly appointed GP Pharmacist:

1) Form and maintain a good relationship
The practice pharmacist and I meet on a daily basis to discuss patients.  General chitchat can also go a long way!  It’s also important to understand each other’s work pressures and be able support one another during stressful periods. Make sure during this time, you communicate!

2) Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Find out when and how to contact your practice pharmacist, learn what they can do and how exactly they can help you.

3) Provide up to date information
Anticipate any problems going forward and relay them back to avoid situations that may take a lengthy time to resolve at a later stage, for example
commonly prescribed medicines which are currently out of stock.

My experience of how working with a GP pharmacist has benefitted me and patient care:

Establish a point of contact with someone in the surgery. This has allowed me to deal with queries promptly and helped to ensure medication changes/updates are implemented quickly. This has in turn benefited patients, as there is no break in the continuity of care provided, particularly when being transferred from different care settings.

New processes have been put into place that help me and the team to manage our workload better and as a result of effective communication, we are able to work together to make sure items are always available and reduce medicines waste.

The initiation of new medicines is also brought to my attention via prescription notes so that patients who need counselling are more readily identified and we can work together to ensure patients take their medicines in the way that’s best for them.

Overall a better service has been provided as we continually work to improve processes and find ways to improve the services provided to patients.

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