What is a Clinical Pharmacist?




Clinical pharmacists are highly qualified health professionals who train for many years to become specialists in medicines and how they work.

They can work directly with you, as part of the general practice team, to make sure your medicines help you get better and stay well.

Having a clinical pharmacist in the practice team means you can be treated by the best professional for your needs.

All pharmacists are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

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When will I see a clinical pharmacist?

You will see a clinical pharmacist when you need expert advice on your medicines.

If your condition needs diagnosing, you will usually see a GP first, who may then refer you on to a practice nurse or clinical pharmacist.

Below are some examples of how a clinical pharmacist can help:

Long-term conditions

If you have a condition such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure, the clinical pharmacist can discuss the medicines you’re taking to make sure they’re working for you. They can also help you with lifestyle changes to help you manage your condition.

Experiencing side effects

If you are experiencing side effects from your medicines, you and the clinical pharmacist can discuss this and work together to find a solution, such as changing your medicine or the dosage.

If you are taking a number of different medicines, the clinical pharmacist can help make sure they are working well together.

Reviewing your medicines

If you are taking medicines over the longterm, you should be seen for a review at least once a year. The clinical pharmacist can review all your medicines, discuss how they are working for you and carry out health  checks, such as taking your blood pressure. They can also arrange for you to have blood or other tests.

After a stay in hospital

If your medicines have been changed while you were in hospital, the clinical pharmacist can help explain these changes and ensure you get the maximum benefit from these medicines.

Common illnesses

If you are suffering from a common illness such as a cold, hay fever, diarrhoea or an eye infection, you may see the clinical pharmacist instead of your GP. The clinical pharmacist may be able to prescribe medicines to treat your condition. You will always be referred to a GP if there is a need.


Your appointment

Just as when you see a GP or a practice nurse, you will see a clinical pharmacist in a private consultation room.

Seeing the pharmacist does not replace an appointment with a doctor. You will still be able to see your GP if you need to.

A clinical pharmacist will not give you your medicines. You should collect your medicines from a community pharmacy or dispensing doctor in the usual way.

Please let the surgery know if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.


For more information and case studies, please visit NHS England and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.