New WIP Funding: What you need to know
In recent years there has been an increase in pharmacists working in general practice in Australia, with evidence showing that pharmacists provide valuable support to the general practice team (Reference: Capital Health Network).
On 1 February 2020, the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) - Practice Stream commenced, providing eligible general practices with financial support to employ:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners
Eligible allied health professionals
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Pharmacists now included
Pharmacists are now included on this list of eligible allied health professionals for the first time. This means that the opportunity now exists for eligible general practices to use this funding to support employing a pharmacist. If you have previously employed a pharmacist, this funding was not available and funds to support this employment would have come from elsewhere.
For further information about the Workforce Incentive Program, including Program Guidelines, see Department of Health - WIP.
The GP Pharmacist Return on Investment (ROI) calculator
Raven's Recruitment (part of a larger group, including Medical Recruitment) has created a calculator, excluding possible funding under the WIP, to describe some potential financial benefits of embedding a pharmacist within a multidisciplinary team in the general practice setting. It contains two examples of where a pharmacist, working within a general practice, could contribute to activities that support patient care within the practice - the initiation of Home Medicines Reviews (HMRs), and supporting Chronic Disease Management (CDM).
A number of assumptions about each have been made and the calculator provides a financial estimate of the return on investment in providing these services. As every individual general practice will have its own unique mix of patients and processes for providing different services, each practice will need to consider their own situation. The calculator purely attempts to estimate potential benefits to both patients and practices alike, and the estimates should be considered to be general in nature.
These activities are examples only, in addition general practice pharmacists can also be involved in different activities relating to clinical governance, education and patient-level activities. These could include undertaking clinical audits, providing education to practice staff, offering smoking cessation services and providing practice accreditation support. The types of activities general practice pharmacists will be involved in will depend on the needs of the practice and its patients.
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About The Author
Raven’s Recruitment Pty Ltd is Australia's leading Pharmacy Recruitment Agency, having been established in 1987.
Raven’s Recruitment is a part of a larger group, including Medical Recruitment Pty Ltd, a respected and enduring GP specific recruitment agency, servicing the needs of General Practices for over 30 years.
This unique combination of recruitment skills places Raven’s in a unique position to assist any GP Practice who would like to explore the opportunity to bring on board a pharmacist working within a GP setting.
Raven's Recruitment have consulted with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), the peak national body representing all Australian pharmacists. PSA delivers tailored training and practice support for pharmacists working in general practice. PSA's General Practice Pharmacist Foundation Training Program provides education on core knowledge and skills required by pharmacists wishing to work in general practice. Completion of the program ensures that the pharmacist has received essential education on the knowledge and skills to work effectively in the general practice setting and effectively meet the needs of both patients and practices.
To find out more about the value a pharmacist can bring to your practice and to access the best pharmacy talent in Australia, contact Heidi Dariz, General Manager of Raven’s Recruitment on 1800 429 829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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