Working together in GP surgeries

Sarah-Crook-right-with-Nettleham-Pratice-team.jpg

Pictured from left, Nettleham Medical Practice Manager Helen Lunn, Patient Services Manager Louise Hocking, Deputy Practice Manager Beth Jenkinson and Lincolnshire Co-op Relief Pharmacist Sarah Crook.

It’s not only winter which is a busy time for GP surgeries – practice teams work hard all year round to care for the health and wellbeing of their patients. 

Together a number of Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacists are helping ease the pressure as part of a new scheme, by splitting their time between a federation of GP practices in Lincoln and working in the Society's community pharmacies.

The NHS England programme sees the pharmacists using their expertise to help in a range of ways, including one-on-one appointments with patients to help them get the most out of their medication and lots of support work behind the scenes. It means GPs have extra time to focus on serious and complex cases.

Relief Pharmacist Sarah Crook (pictured above, left) works at Lincolnshire Co-op's Nettleham Pharmacy and spends two days a week at Nettleham Medical Practice.

"When I’m at the surgery, sometimes patients are a bit curious as to why they’ve been booked in with me,” she said. 

“I always explain that my focus is on their medication, but if I identify any problems and concerns I’ll make sure it’s referred to the doctor. It doesn’t cut the doctor out at all. 

 “Our main role is probably about patient safety as you can do a lot in terms of medicine, whether it’s removing medication they no longer need or isn’t suitable anymore, or the education side of it.

“It’s helpful for everybody - for community pharmacists, the doctors and the patient.”

Partner at Nettleham Medical Practice Dr David Sheehan said help from pharmacists like Sarah has been beneficial.

“Their expertise in medicines management has helped to ensure that when patients are discharged from hospital to the practice, changes in medication can be accurately and promptly made to the patient’s repeat prescription list and any queries can be clarified," he added.

“In addition, doing medication focused reviews for patients with asthma and other common conditions helps patients be sure they’re on the best medication for them.”

Pharmacist Paul Thompson (below, left) works at Lincolnshire Co-op’s Burton Road Pharmacy in Lincoln and spends time at Cliff House Medical Practice in the city, among others. 

“Our case load is building up. In the days when we’re here we have full clinics,” he said.

“There’s also always a tonne of admin work behind the scenes that we’re doing for the patients, as well as quality improvement works and audit works for the surgery. 

“I’m recognised a lot here as Burton Road Pharmacy is directly over the road. You call people in and you can see them think ‘Hang on, am I in the wrong place?’ 

“It’s quite nice really as we already have that rapport with a lot of the patients. They also know we’re accessible in the community so if they do have any problems they do feel they can nip into the pharmacy and see you when you’re there."

Paul Thompson Left With Carolyn From Cliff House Medical Practice

Pictured above, from left, Lincolnshire Co-op Pharmacist Paul Thompson and Senior Receptionist Carolyn from Cliff House Medical Practice in Lincoln.


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