“WE have the perfect storm of rising demand and falling resources to deal with it,” said GP and deputy chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP subcommittee, Dr Andrew Buist, speaking at the Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) conference in Edinburgh.
Pressures on GP services included the shortage of GPs, increasing demand; the ageing population; the shift of workload from hospitals to primary care; and increased patient expectations.
“Our proposal is to use the GP resource to full advantage and focus on what GPs do best,” Dr Buist explained. This meant dealing with undifferentiated presentations, complex care and leading the primary care teams as senior clinical decision makers.
“We want to move out of areas like chronic disease management, health promotion, public health, and immunisation.
“We see these as areas that should be moved to be the responsibility of integrated joint boards, and there may be opportunities for community pharmacy.
“We will still be involved in them, but we won’t be the lead operators in them as we have been for the past 15 years. It is not our core skill set,” he told delegates.
Turning to Prescription for Excellence, he said “I absolutely do see pharmacists as the experts in therapeutic use of medicines, and I welcome new enhanced models of care for clinical community pharmacists and the need to spend less of your time dispensing by using more pharmacy technicians.
“There are great advantages in collaborative partnerships between community pharmacists and GPs, especially over complex, long-term care.”
GPs also needed greater support with a number of other tasks, including medicines reconciliation; polypharmacy reviews; high risk medicines; special requests; repeat prescribing; dressings; foodstuffs; colostomy products; and nursing homes, which currently took up a lot of their time.