Solidarity or Dissonance? A Systematic Review of Pharmacist and GP Views on Community Pharmacy Services in the UK

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There has been a strong policy emphasis over the past decade on optimising patient-centred care and reducing general practitioners’ (GPs’) workload by extending community pharmacy services and collaboration between pharmacists and GPs. Our aim was to review current evidence of pharmacists’ and GPs’ views of extended community pharmacy services and pharmacists’ roles in the United Kingdom (UK). A systematic review was undertaken looking at UK studies investigating pharmacists’ and/or GPs’ views of community pharmacy services or roles from 2005-2017. A range of databases were searched including EMBASE, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA), PsycINFO, Science Direct and The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). In addition, reference lists of included studies were screened and grey literature was searched. Following the application of inclusion/exclusion criteria, the quality of papers was critically analysed, findings were extracted into a grid and subjected to narrative synthesis following thematic analysis. The search strategy yielded a total of 4,066 unique papers from which 60 were included. Forty-seven papers covered pharmacists’ views, nine combined both pharmacists’ and GPs’ views and four covered GPs’ views. Study designs included interviews (n=31, 52%), questionnaire surveys (n=17, 28%) and focus groups (n=7, 12%). Three main themes emerged from the data: “attitudes towards services/roles”, “community pharmacy organisations” and “external influences”. Pharmacists and GPs perceived a number of barriers to successful implementation and integration of pharmacy services. Moreover, collaboration between pharmacists and GPs remains poor despite the introduction of extended services. Overall, extending community pharmacy services require quality-driven incentives and joint working between community pharmacists and GPs to achieve better integration within the patient’s primary care pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-598
Number of pages34
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • community pharmacy
  • general practice
  • general practitioners
  • pharmacists
  • primary care
  • systematic review


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