GPP NI 2030 - A Strategy for General Practice Pharmacy in Northern Ireland

Date published: 28 February 2024


"Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together” outlined how pharmacists would work as an integral part of the general practice team using their skills and experience to improve patient outcomes, improve the safety of prescribing through medication reviews and reconciliation, reduce the level of medication errors and reduce waste through management of prescribing systems. “Delivering Together” also highlighted the potential for pharmacists working in general practice to use their clinical skills to help to alleviate some of the pressures faced by general practice through the management of long-term conditions.

In 2015 the Department of Health made a five-year commitment to invest in a General Practice Pharmacists (GPP) service, introducing new roles for pharmacists to work alongside GPs. Full implementation of the service was achieved by 2020, and today every GP practice in Northern Ireland has a pharmacist working as an integral part of their clinical team.

Evaluation of this service has demonstrated that general practice pharmacists provide excellent value for money for the Health and Social Care (HSC) system through supporting the delivery of prescribing efficiencies, as well as other vital improvements in the safety, efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of prescribing within GP practices. Pharmacists also release much needed capacity within the general practice team so that GPs can focus more of their time on the care and management of patients with complex medical needs.

Informed by this evaluation, the Department of Health has now developed “GPP NI 2030 – A strategy for General Practice in Northern Ireland” which outlines ambitious plans for the future development of the general practice pharmacy sector and implements a recommendation in the Pharmacy Workforce Review 2020. This plan sets out how pharmacists will contribute fully to optimising the health outcomes of our population as the clinical leads for medicines within the general practice team. It also sets out an ambition to develop and expand the workforce through the introduction of new advanced pharmacist practitioner roles, which will allow GPPs to enhance their clinical skills and expertise with greater benefit to patient care.

Back to top