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February 14, 2020 Friday 10:53:29 AM IST

GPs and pharmacists need to develop trusting relationships,study finds

Health Monitor

According to a new study by researchers at the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol, GPs and pharmacists work best together when they understand and value one another's expertise. The research, published in the British Journal of General Practice on 11 February, asked GPs and pharmacists about their views on what helps and what hinders them from working together to make the best use of medicines for patients with multiple health problems.

The study found that 'knowing each other' and a good working relationship were key to working together well. GPs in practices that employed a pharmacist tended to value pharmacists' professional expertise more than GPs in practices without one, while pharmacists who were not known to GPs felt under-valued.

Thirteen GPs and ten pharmacists were interviewed for the study. There were mixed views about whether a practice-employed pharmacist was good value for money and differences in opinion about what the practice pharmacists' role should be.

GPs had mixed views about whether pharmacists should have the authority to make changes to patients' medicines, with some GPs valuing pharmacists' knowledge of medicines but preferring to remain in control of the decisions. Pharmacists who were not attached to practice described some difficult relationships with GPs, where they felt poorly understood and underused.


GPs reported that pharmacist-led medicine reviews were unlikely to impact much on GP workload as GPs were doing these in a time-efficient way, for example during a ten-minute appointment alongside other problems. Pharmacists would require more time, for example during a 20-minute appointment focused just on medicines. Other tasks that had a greater impact on reducing GP workload, such as sorting out prescription requests, took priority for pharmacists.

(Content Courtesy: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2020/february/gp-pharmacist.html)

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