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Joint working: Improving services to patients through primary care process engineering

Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon CCG and Pfizer Ltd.




As long ago as April 2009 a British Medical Association (BMA) /National Pharmacy Association (NPA) joint initiative entitled “Improving Communication Between Community Pharmacy and General Practice” highlighted patient care could be enhanced through the improvement of cross functional working between General Practice and Community Pharmacy.




This new project intends to ensure that patients across Northern, Eastern and Western Devon are able to see the most appropriate person, in the most appropriate setting at the right time through services delivered by both General Practice and Community Pharmacy. Adopting Beacon Medical Centre as a pilot site, the project will both review the needs and services currently available to patients with long-term conditions then explore opportunities to redesign services across primary and community care to increase access and enhance the patient experience.

By developing a community-wide approach the project seeks to better support the needs of local patients and their carers. The project will seek to understand the potential benefits to patients as well as enhanced financial sustainability that can arise from increased collaboration between general practice and community pharmacists.




  • Improved patient/family experience
  • Improved clarity on and access to appropriate services leading to reduction in waiting times and improved engagement with all healthcare available locally.
  • Improved support and education to support patients in managing their long-term conditions.
  • Decreased unnecessary Emergency Department visits
N.E.W. Devon CCG
  • Improved uptake of medicines optimisation activities leading to better adherence with NICE guidance.
  • Reduced medicines waste and therefore cost savings
  • Decreased unnecessary Emergency Department visits and associated cost savings
  • Improved patient experience scores
Beacon Medical Practice
  • Enhanced ability to focus on appropriate patients
  • Increased ability to manage workload and improved demand management
  • Improved knowledge of and working relationships with local pharmacy stakeholders
Community Pharmacy
  • Enhanced role within the local healthcare community
  • More appropriate use of skills e.g. non-medical prescribing
  • Potential to develop new patient-centred pharmacy services
  • Improved knowledge of and working relationships with local GP stakeholders
Pfizer Ltd
  • Improved expertise and understanding of patient needs and General Practice and Community Pharmacy services
  • Recognition as a trusted partner for Joint Working Projects with the NHS
  • More appropriate use of, and adherence to, medicines some of which may be Pfizer medicines
  • Ability to take and share the learning from this project within other regions in the UK to support improved patient care

To find out more about this Joint Working project please contact 01304 616161.

PP-PHP-GBR-0005 / March 2016