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Reducing GP pressure and adding value: pharmacists in general practice

Written by Tristan Lennox-Gentle, Director

The delivery of primary care services is in flux, reshaping and realigning to fit future needs, driven by the overarching aims of the Five Year Forward View.

With new models of care being trialled or introduced, the integration of multiple services looks set to increase. For example, Multispecialty Community Provider vanguards are moving specialist care out of hospitals into the community.

Pharmacists are being called to play an important, new part: following a trial integrating 491 pharmacists within 658 GP practices, NHS England indicated in the General Practice Forward View that they intend to have 1,500 more pharmacists working in general practice by 2020/21.

Adding value at the front line

This plan presents a significant opportunity for pharmacists to add value to patients and practices by managing long term clinical conditions and repeat prescriptions, reviewing patient medicines and their effectiveness, offering expert advice to fellow practitioners to improve the quality of prescribing, and broaden understanding on the nature, interaction and suitability of medications and treatments. They can also reduce pressure on GP resources by redirecting routine care and medication management away from GPs. It may be a move individual Pharmacists have already made or are considering. Owners of Community Pharmacies may also be considering how to take advantage of the opportunity.

Tackling the indemnity question

With any aspect of healthcare delivery, the issue of clinical negligence protection needs to be addressed and MIAB has designed what it believes is a fit-for-purpose insurance policy aimed specifically at pharmacists in general practice. It provides appropriate levels of cover for all the duties and activities to be undertaken as outlined within the recent communications on “Role of Pharmacists in General Practice”. The policy features:

  • £10 million Professional Indemnity cover
  • 10 years extended reporting period as standard
  • Legal Defence and Expenses Cover
  • Vicarious Liability covering actions of non-clinical employees
  • No Excess in the event of a claim
  • Legal Assistance and Out of Hours Support
  • Retroactive cover available upon request

The policy wording and terms are provided and we’re happy to conduct a free comparison against existing provider policies.

The policy also includes:

  • Undifferentiated diagnosis covered
  • Flu Vaccine administration covered
  • No automatic exclusion for mental health ailments or related issues

The policy is available to existing Pharmacists in GP Practices, community pharmacists changing role and moving into general practice, Pharmacy Technicians and newly qualified pharmacists and prescribers.

As litigation is often directed at businesses, this policy is also available on an ‘Entity’ basis to the practice, which ensures it is protected from claims made against employees.

Reviewing your existing cover

Adequate cover is important to protect both the individual pharmacist and the patients. Pharmacists already working in general practice, should consider the level of cover from their current provider. If it’s a practice group scheme, is it fit for these specific needs? Pharmacists considering this career should check if their existing provider offers cover to match MIAB’s recommended level.

Sector transformation

It’s vital that organisations involved in the delivery of primary care services keep on top of the changes and developments, especially regarding indemnity protection.

MIAB is a leading insurance broker in the healthcare sector, offering bespoke insurance and expert advice. For more information about Professional Indemnity cover for Pharmacists in General Practice, or to review your existing cover, please contact us on 01438 730210 or info@miab.co.uk.