Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Pharmacists in general practice - a qualitative process evaluation of the General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) study.pdf (814.14 kB)

Pharmacists in general practice - a qualitative process evaluation of the General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) study.

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-20, 18:05 authored by Oscar James, Karen Cardwell, Frank MoriartyFrank Moriarty, Susan SmithSusan Smith, Barbara ClyneBarbara Clyne, General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) Study Group
Background: There is some evidence to suggest that pharmacists integrated into primary care improves patient outcomes and prescribing quality. Despite this growing evidence, there is a lack of detail about the context of the role.
Aim: To explore the implementation of The General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) intervention (pharmacists integrating into general practice within a non-randomised pilot study in Ireland), the experiences of study participants and lessons for future implementation.
Design and Setting: Process evaluation with a descriptive qualitative approach conducted in four purposively selected GP practices.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis.
Results: Twenty-three participants (3 pharmacists, 4 GPs, 4 patients, 4 practice nurses, 4 practice managers, and 4 practice administrators) were interviewed. Findings are reported under the themes of day to day practicalities (incorporating location and space, systems and procedures, and pharmacists’ tasks), relationships and communication (incorporating GP/pharmacist mode of communication, mutual trust and respect, relationship with other practice staff, and with patients) and role perception (incorporating shared goals, professional rewards, scope of practice, and logistics).
Conclusions: The study found that a pharmacist working within the general practice team had potential to improve prescribing quality. This process evaluation found that a pharmacist joining the general practice team was well accepted by the GP and practice staff and effective interprofessional relationships were described. Patients were less clear of the overall benefits. Important barriers (such as funding, infrastructure and workload) and facilitators (such as teamwork and integration) to the intervention were identified which will be incorporated into a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial.


Health Research Board (HRB) Research Collaborative for Patient Safety (RCQPS) Award



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Published Citation

James O, Cardwell K, Moriarty F, Smith SM, Clyne B. Pharmacists in general practice: a qualitative process evaluation of the General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) study. Family Practice. 2020: 37(5):711-718

Publication Date

7 May 2020

PubMed ID



  • General Practice
  • HRB Centre for Primary Care Research

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services


Oxford University Press


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)