GPs may need to wait six months before the clinical pharmacist independent prescriber (CPIP) can yield significant benefits for the practice and patients, a report to NHS England has found.
Researchers found that a key area where the CPIPs made a significant impact is medication reviews, accounting for just over half of their workload. Yet it took six months before CPIPs were delivering these off site, in patients’ own and in residential homes.
Researchers also said it took CPIPs six months to learn how to handle hospital discharges and also to independently support GPs with the management of chronic disease.
Nevertheless, the report concludes that “CPIPs conducting medication reviews saves money for a GP practice from day one. This is true even where mentoring support and/or referrals are required”.
Successful mentoring will utilise “a reducing scaffold model, often as per registrar training”, the report notes.
Commissioned to inform the national roll out of the CPIP programme, the report also warns that GPs may need to invest significant initial time in induction: an eight-day induction may be needed to provide “a good quality introduction to the new work context, creates a sense of belonging and trust and forms a solid base for mentoring and role development.”
This should include (as a minimum) the opportunity to shadow a range of staff, learn and practise working with the IT system(s), and build mentoring relationships.
In the report, which was commissioned by NHS England to inform national roll-out of CPIP in general practice, researchers from the University of Nottingham studied six practices involved in an 18-month trial scheme.
They concluded that CPIPs have the ability to offer benefits including capacity and service quality gains for GPs, improvements in patient satisfaction and that this role effectively harnesses the clinical pharmacist skill set.
However, practices are warned that may fail to find a ready supply of clinical pharmacist independent prescribers (CPIP) and that “further upskilling of pharmacists may be beneficial to the overall development of the sector”.