Evaluating the role and integration of general practice pharmacists in England: a cross-sectional study

Abdullah Alshehri, Ejaz Cheema, Asma Yahyouche, Sayeed Haque, Zahraa Jalal

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Since 2015, NHS England has facilitated the recruitment of pharmacists in general practice (GP) to reduce workload of general practitioners. The role of pharmacists is therefore expected to become more clinical and patient oriented. However, little is known about the current roles performed and the integration of GP pharmacists.


To assess the role performed by GP pharmacists and their integration into practice exploring facilitators and barriers to integration.


A cross-sectional survey of GP pharmacists in England.


This study used both online and paper-based questionnaires for a period of six months. Survey items included demographics, roles performed, integration including available support and practice environment. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and 95% confidence intervals. Open comments were analysed thematically to identify pharmacists’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators to their integration into practice.

Main outcome measure

Current role and integration of pharmacists into GP. Results 195 participants completed the questionnaire. Three quarters of pharmacists (76%) had only been in GP since 2015. Most pharmacists (81%) were independent prescribers (PIPs). The most reported pharmacists’ roles were medicine reconciliation (95%), telephone support for patients (95%) and face-to-face medication review (91%). 82% (95% CI: 76% to 86.8%) were satisfied with their overall integration into practice. Half of pharmacists (45%) were working in a shared office or at a hot desk and 9% had no designated workspace. PIPs had more access to a convenient workplace (p = 0.016) compared to non-IPs.


Practice pharmacists are fulfilling a wide range of clinical and non-clinical roles in England.
Findings highlight relatively a satisfactory level of pharmacists’ integration into practice and shed the light on their integration issues. These findings could be significant for the development of future roles of pharmacists in GP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609-1618
Journal International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021


  • England
  • General practice
  • Health services
  • Integration
  • Intervention
  • Pharmacist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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