Employing clinical pharmacists in GP practices

Having a clinical pharmacist on the team can ease workload, reduce waiting times and improve effectiveness. In England, all GP practices in primary care networks can access funding to employ pharmacists.

Location: England
Audience: GPs Practice managers
Updated: Thursday 13 July 2023
GP practice article illustration

By employing clinical pharmacists, many practices have been able to:

  • reduce waiting times for appointments
  • increase access to healthcare
  • improve screenings and diagnosis of chronic and common ailments
  • reduce A&E admissions
  • reduce the wastage and overuse of medicines.
  • save GP locum costs.


A clinical pharmacist's responsibilities

The below lists some ways which clinical pharmacists can help in your practice.

Clinical services

  • Working with GPs and patients to address medicine adherence.
  • Reviewing patients on complex medicine regimens.
  • Triaging and managing common ailments.
  • Responding to acute medicine requests.
  • Managing and prescribing for long-term conditions (often with the practice nurse).
  • Holding minor ailment clinics.

Prescription management

  • Dealing with medication for patients recently discharged from hospital.
  • Helping the practice deliver on the QIPP and QOF agenda and enhanced services.
  • Delivering repeat prescription reviews.
  • Being the point of contact for all medicine-related queries
  • Overseeing the practice’s repeat prescription policy.
  • Taking over clinical medicines reviews from GPs.
  • Audit and education.
  • Medicines management.
  • In dispensing practices, pharmacists can take responsibility for the business management of the dispensary.


How to hire a clinical pharmacist

The Primary Care Pharmacists Association’s guide for GPs considering employing a pharmacist includes a summary of what pharmacists can do, advice on the different methods of recruitment, sample job adverts and sample job descriptions.

Practices can employ pharmacists through, for example:

  • direct employment
  • locum hire
  • contract from a CCG (clinical commissioning group), CSU (commissioning support unit) or a private provider.

We have produced a template agreement which can be adapted to suit your needs. Any practices and providers using it must take their own independent legal advice before it is signed.


Clinical pharmacists and PCNs

Case study

Tamar Valley Health, a practice in Cornwall, employs two primary care pharmacists.

What the pharmacists do




Working together


How much it costs