The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has joined forces with a doctor’s organisation to create a guide for medics about how community pharmacy operates.

The PSNC has updated The community pharmacy – A guide for general practitioners and practice staff to help pharmacy and practices work better together and ‘understand each other’s profession’ with the emergence of Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

The regulator teamed up with the British Medical Association’s General Practitioner’s Committee (BMA GPC) to promote the guidance, it announced today (29 May).

The guidance includes key information for GPs on how community pharmacy functions, such as how pharmacy is funded and what each member of the pharmacy team's role is.

A complementary guide for community pharmacists is currently being updated and will be published shortly by the BMA GPC and PSNC.

PSNC’s director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said:The publication of this updated guide is very timely, as general practices across England are actively starting to build local PCNs.

Full engagement of community pharmacy in the work of PCNs will be easier to achieve where local GPs and their teams have a clear understanding of how community pharmacies operate and the support they provide to patients and the public.’

BMA GP Committee Chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘GPs and community pharmacists already work closely together on a day-to-day basis – and with a greater focus on the benefits of community-based care, this is only going to increase.

‘Therefore, it’s important that both GPs and pharmacists have a shared understanding of each other’s roles.’