The challenge of integrating community pharmacists into the primary health care team: a case study of local pharmaceutical services (LPS) pilots and interprofessional collaboration

J Interprof Care. 2008 Aug;22(4):387-98. doi: 10.1080/13561820802137005.


The aim of this paper is to investigate interprofessional collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists involved in the delivery of enhanced pharmacy services under the local pharmaceutical services (LPS) contract in England. Previous research suggests that a number of interprofessional barriers exist between community pharmacists and GPs which hinders the integration of community pharmacists into the primary health care team (PHCT). One of the aims of the LPS contract, introduced in England in 2002 as an alternative to national contractual arrangements, was to enable pharmacists to work more closely with other health care professionals. A two-stage survey was distributed to all pharmacists involved in the first wave of LPS and in-depth interviews undertaken with pharmacists and GPs at six of the LPS sites. Overall the level to which the LPS pharmacists felt integrated into the PHCT did not substantially increase with the introduction of LPS, although co-location was reported to have facilitated integration. New relationships were formed with GPs and existing ones strengthened. A good existing working relationship with GPs was found to be an important factor in the successful operation of the pilots as many were dependent on GPs for patient referrals. The findings suggest that establishing interprofessional collaboration between GPs and pharmacists is a piecemeal process, with a reliance on goodwill and trust-based relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians, Family
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce