PATIENTS in Wiveliscombe will be able to get expert advice on medication and care from pharmacists when they visit their GP surgery.

NHS England has approved a bid for more than 90 practices in the South West, including Lister House Surgery, in Wiveliscombe.

Patients at Taunton's Blackbrook Surgery are already able to access support from pharmacists following a pilot scheme launched at a number of GP facilities in the region in November 2015.

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the GP team to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and to consult with and treat patients directly, including:

  • providing extra help to manage long-term conditions;
  • advising patients on multiple medications;
  • increasing access to health checks.

The initiative allows GPs to focus their skills where they are most needed, such as diagnosing and treating patients with complex conditions.

Amanda Fisk, director of assurance and delivery for NHS England in the South West, said: “Getting drug treatment right is crucial in keeping people well and independent – and clinical pharmacists are the experts.

"They can make a real difference, especially for patients with long-term conditions and who rely on multiple medications.

“We also know that some practices have been struggling to cope with rising workloads and to recruit new doctors, so bringing in pharmacists will help ease the pressure as well as offering better care to patients.”