Just under a third (31%) of community pharmacists are considering packing up and moving into GP practices, according to a major new survey of primary care workers.

The 52 contractors and superintendent pharmacists surveyed were far less likely to make the move, with just 15% saying they would consider it. This was in contrast to the 143 employee pharmacists surveyed, 36% of whom saying they would potentially move into working in GP practices.

The findings are presented in Cogora’s sixth Primary Concerns report, which this year takes the title of The State of Primary Care 2018 and provides an insight into the current state of the sector from the healthcare professionals who know it best.

However, the majority of pharmacists were firm that they would not consider moving into practices, with 78% of the total 195 pharmacists surveyed saying they did not want to make the career change.

The new GP contract pledged to pay for 70% of the salary of one pharmacist in each GP practice in England.


A more positive relationship


The survey’s results were indicative of an increasingly positive relationship between pharmacists and GPs.

Almost eight in 10 (78%) of the 916 GPs surveyed said they thought community pharmacies could help to reduce their workload. And 73% of pharmacists rated relationships with their local GP practices as good or very good, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of GPs giving the same ratings.

However, both groups do still see one another as competition in the delivery of local primary care services. Of those who gave an answer, 40% of GPs said they saw pharmacists as competition in comparison to the 35% of pharmacists who said they faced competition from local GP practices.