Enhancing Primary Care with Managed Clinical Pharmacist Services

In the evolving landscape of healthcare, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and individual practices are continually seeking innovative solutions to enhance patient care while managing costs. One such innovation is the integration of fully managed clinical pharmacist services. This model encompasses a comprehensive approach, including recruitment, ongoing training, and management, offering a multifaceted solution to the challenges faced by primary care providers.

Recruitment and Integration

The recruitment of clinical pharmacists into PCNs is a strategic move aimed at addressing the scarcity of general practitioners (GPs) and nurses. By 2024, it is anticipated that each PCN could have a team of approximately five to seven full-time equivalent clinical pharmacists. These professionals are not just a mere addition to the team but are pivotal in delivering patient-centric care.

Ongoing Training and Professional Development

A key component of the fully managed service is the provision of ongoing education and training. Clinical pharmacists in PCNs are required to complete an 18-month additional training requirement, ensuring that they operate at a consistent level across the country. This continuous professional development is crucial for maintaining high standards of patient care and for the pharmacists’ career progression.

Management and Support

The management aspect of the service ensures that clinical pharmacists are well-supported and can focus on their primary roles without the additional burden of administrative tasks. Supervision by a senior clinical pharmacist allows for a structured approach to career development and enhances the quality of care provided.

Benefits to PCNs and Individual Practices

The integration of clinical pharmacists into PCNs and individual practices offers several benefits:

  • Reduced Workload for GPs: By taking on responsibilities such as medication reviews and support for long-term conditions management, clinical pharmacists alleviate the workload on GPs.
  • Enhanced Medication Safety: With their expertise in medicines, clinical pharmacists contribute significantly to medication safety and optimization.
  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Streamlining processes and focusing on patient-centric care, clinical pharmacists improve patient outcomes and access.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The fully managed service model allows PCNs to deliver high-quality care without incurring additional costs, as the funding for clinical pharmacists is provided through schemes like the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme.


Fully managed clinical pharmacist services represent a forward-thinking approach to primary care. By providing comprehensive support in recruitment, training, and management, these services enable PCNs and individual practices to deliver superior patient care efficiently and cost-effectively. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the role of clinical pharmacists will undoubtedly become increasingly integral to the primary care framework.