In recent years there has been an increase in pharmacists working in general practice in Australia, with evidence showing that pharmacists provide valuable support to the general practice team (Reference: Capital Health Network).
On 1 February 2020, the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) - Practice Stream commenced, providing eligible general practices with financial support to employ Nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, Health workers, Eligible allied health professionals, and Pharmacists.
Pharmacists now included
Pharmacists are now included on this list of eligible allied health professionals for the first time. This means that the opportunity now exists for eligible general practices to use this funding to support employing a pharmacist. If the general practice has previously employed a pharmacist, this funding was not available and funds to support this employment would have come from elsewhere.
For further information about the Workforce Incentive Program, including Program Guidelines, see Department of Health - WIP.
A day in the life of a general practice pharmacist
"Discussing patient outcomes with doctors, visiting patients in their own homes, and co-developing new programs for a General Practice. If that sounds interesting to you, then consider taking a leaf out of the book by Amy Page FPS. She works as a GP Pharmacist at Emerald Medical Centre, Victoria." - Australian Pharmacist
For further information, see the article from Australian Pharmacist on Amy Page FPS a GP Pharmacist.
General Practice Pharmacist Foundation Training
"Take the next step in your career and work collaboratively with GPs to improve patient outcomes.
PSA is the leader in education and support for pharmacists new to or interested in working in general practice, and for pharmacists already working in general practice to advance their career.
PSA’s General Practice Pharmacist Foundation Training provides an overview of core knowledge and skills required by pharmacists wishing to work in general practice. It is designed for pharmacists new to or interested in working in general practice, and covers topics such as the general practice team, the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Practice Incentives Program and health records. It is recommened that pharmacists new to or interested in working in general practice complete the Foundation Training Program." - PSA
For further information, see the career pathways information from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on General Practice Pharmacist Training.
The GP Pharmacist Return on Investment (ROI) calculator
Raven's Recruitment (part of a larger group, including Medical Recruitment) has created a calculator, excluding possible funding under the WIP, to describe some potential financial benefits of embedding a pharmacist within a multidisciplinary team in the general practice setting. It contains two examples of where a pharmacist, working within a general practice, could contribute to activities that support patient care within the practice - the initiation of Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs), and supporting Chronic Disease Management (CDM).
A number of assumptions about each have been made and the calculator provides a financial estimate of the return on investment in providing these services. As every individual general practice will have its own unique mix of patients and processes for providing different services, each practice will need to consider their own situation. The calculator purely attempts to estimate potential benefits to both patients and practices alike, and the estimates should be considered to be general in nature.
These activities are examples only, in addition general practice pharmacists can also be involved in different activities relating to clinical governance, education and patient-level activities. These could include undertaking clinical audits, providing education to practice staff, offering smoking cessation services and providing practice accreditation support. The types of activities general practice pharmacists will be involved in will depend on the needs of the practice and its patients.
For more information
To find out more about becoming a GP Pharmacist and the value you can bring to patients of General Practice, contact Heidi Dariz, General Manager of Raven's Recruitment on 1800 429 829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Raven's Recruitment, we’ve been specialising in Pharmacist recruitment for a long time, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants now.