A group of researchers have set up a network to encourage collaboration between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in general practice and primary care networks (PCNs) and those who are involved in research relating to primary care pharmacy.

Members will be encouraged to share knowledge and skills relating to primary care and clinical pharmacy, as well as to collaborate on relevant research.

The group will also share advances in primary care pharmacy research, promote current studies, help to shape the design of future studies and identify future areas of research.

Dr Abi Woodward, a research fellow at University College London (UCL), who manages the network, told The Pharmacist that it was important for pharmacists working in general practice and PCNs to be connected with research.

‘Clinical pharmacists have an important role in managing different aspects of care,’ she said.

‘The primary care landscape is likely to have a greater focus on roles such as these in the future and it is important that we understand the views of clinical pharmacists, and the impact of their work.’

The group will meet virtually four times a year, and will also use a Microsoft Teams channel between meetings to provide peer support, share documents and reports and ask questions. In the future, they hope to meet in person too.

The group’s first session this autumn will focus on a recent UCL study about how pharmacists working in general practice and for PCNs can support patients with dementia and their carers.

Dr Woodward commented: ‘In our recent research study (DCPharm) which focuses on dementia care, we are exploring the importance of the clinical pharmacist role.

‘We understand how important it is to involve clinical pharmacists in research, alongside the people they provide support to, so that everyone has a voice in shaping the future role of clinical pharmacists.’

Pharmacy professionals interested in joining the network can complete the sign up form or contact Dr Woodward for more information.