Two guides outlining the duties and roles of general practitioners and pharmacists have been put together in order to foster a greater level of understanding between these two different factions of healthcare.

The GP practice - a guide for community pharmacists and pharmacy staff and The community pharmacy – a guide for general practitioners and practice staff were compiled by NHS Employers with help from the British Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, in a bid to improve relationships between the two professions.

It is hoped that the guides – which contain information on funding arrangement and the Quality and Outcomes Framework incentive scheme - will help to not only raise awareness of each profession’s work but will also encourage joint working as a means to enhance patient care, a principle that seems to be growing in popularity as the National Health Service strives to make savings and improve efficiency.

“We have always believed that the best outcomes for NHS patients can only be achieved if all healthcare professionals collaborate and work together, and these guides will help to enhance understanding between GPs and pharmacists on the role that each profession plays in the NHS,” explained Sue Sharpe, PSNC chief executive.

“In a time when the NHS is working hard to deliver efficiency savings across the service these guides provide a timely, straightforward insight to support the two medical groups to work better together,” added Felicity Cox, lead negotiator, NHS Employers, and she noted that the guides will also be useful to commissioners “as they help to highlight possibilities for new ways of integrated working in primary care”.