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Clinical Pharmacist

Overview of the role

Clinical pharmacists work in primary care as part of a multidisciplinary team in a patient facing role to clinically assess and treat patients using expert knowledge of medicines for specific disease areas. They will be prescribers, or if not, can complete an independent prescribing qualification following completion of the 18-month Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) pathway. They work with and alongside the general practice team, taking responsibility for patients with chronic diseases and undertaking clinical medication reviews to proactively manage people with complex polypharmacy, especially for the elderly, people in care homes and those with multiple comorbidities.

clinical pharmacy

Education and training required

  • Clinical pharmacists employed through the Network Contract (Direct Enhanced Service (DES) will either be enrolled in or been granted exemption from the 18-month Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP). This pathway equips the pharmacist to be able to practice and prescribe safely and effectively in a primary care setting.

  • All clinical pharmacists will be part of a professional clinical network and will always be clinically supervised by a senior clinical pharmacist and GP clinical supervisor.

  • Independent prescribing is in addition to the training pathway and will be completed following completion of the PCPEP.

  • Prior experience, training and qualifications may lead to exemption for some modules – this will be granted by CPPE.


  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Mpharm)

Length of course

  • 18-month pathway, including 28 days dedicated study days 

  • Learner receives a statement of assessment & progression on completion of the pathway

  • No placement is required as the clinical pharmacist will be employed within primary care whilst completing the PCPEP.

Educator providers

Career framework

The starting salary for clinical pharmacists is AfC Band 7/8a.

Job description

NHSE/I have developed a job description and recruitment pack which is available on the FutureNHS website. Access to the site requires user registration. Once registered, navigate to the role selection page to find a range of supporting resources.

For brief outline of responsibilities, skills and competencies please see below.

Activities Undertaken

  • Develop bespoke integrated pharmaceutical care plans for individual patients.

  • Facilitate communication and liaise across a patient’s care pathway (including wider primary care workforce, secondary care, social care and domiciliary).

  • Manage patients with more complex long-term conditions such as “difficult” hypertension, compliance with lipid-lowering therapy.

  • Increase the uptake of new medicines with a focus on overall value.

  • Offer a holistic approach to the use and understanding of medicines by patients that includes step up and step-down management required in long term conditions or possibly end of life.

  • Facilitate access to medicines (e.g. secondary care referrals for “specials”, unusual formulations etc.)      

  • Support innovation and clinical research.

  • Provide expertise in practical therapeutics.

Skills and Competencies

  • Working with GPs and patients to address medicine adherence.

  • Reviewing patients on complex medicine regimens.

  • Triaging and managing common ailments.

  • Responding to acute medicine requests.

  • Managing and prescribing for long-term conditions (often with the practice nurse)

  • Holding minor ailment clinics.

  • Prescription management.

  • Dealing with medication for patients recently discharged from hospital.

  • Helping the practice deliver on the patients recently discharged from hospital.

  • Helping the practice deliver on the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) and Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) agenda and enhanced services.
  • Delivering repeat prescription reviews.

  • Being the point of contact for all medicine-related queries.

  • Overseeing the practice’s repeat prescription policy.

  • Taking over clinical medicines reviews from GPs.

  • Audit and education.

  • Medicines management.

  • In dispensing practices, pharmacists can take responsibility for the business management of the dispensary.


The PCPEP is for pharmacists employed as part of the NHS England primary care network contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) additional roles reimbursement scheme.      

  • The PCN DES says that all clinical pharmacists will be part of a professional clinical network and will always be clinically supervised by a senior clinical pharmacist and GP clinical supervisor.

  • The clinical supervisor for pharmacists will usually be a GP but if the pharmacist works in a care home, the clinical supervisor could be a consultant geriatrician.         

  • Each clinical pharmacist will receive a minimum of one supervision session per month by a senior clinical pharmacist.

  • All clinical pharmacists will have access to an assigned GP clinical supervisor for support and development.

  • As the number of clinical pharmacists working within PCNs increases, this should be on a ratio of one senior clinical pharmacist to five clinical pharmacists, and in all cases appropriate peer support and supervision must be in place.

  • Further information can be found on the CPPE website

Support available for introducing the role

From April 2020, this role will be reimbursed through the Additional Roles Reimbursement scheme at 100% of actual salary plus defined on costs, up to the maximum reimbursable amount of £55,670 over 12 months.

Further information

Download  Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) Job descriptions