Aberavon AM impressed with modern face of pharmacy
Following his visit to Lloyds Pharmacy in Aberavon on 2 December, local AM David Rees was impressed at the way community pharmacy is embracing new opportunities being offered by the Welsh Government.
The visit comes as the Conservative UK Government announced proposals to cut the funding available to community pharmacies in England. There is a planned 4% reduction in 2016-17, and over 7% in 2017-18. In contrast, the Welsh Government has re-stated its commitment to the community pharmacy sector, with £20million investment to support and enhance pharmacy services in Wales. The details of the funding announcement are currently being negotiated between the Welsh Government and Community Pharmacy Wales, but they will entail significant expansion of the number of services you can obtain in a local pharmacy.
The new Choose Pharmacy IT platform being rolled out by the Welsh Government will see pharmacists take responsibility for managing a range of minor ailments, allowing people will to see their pharmacist for free treatment instead of making an appointment to see their GP, freeing up GP time to deal with people with more complex needs.
David Rees AM said: “As an Assembly Member with a keen interest in health policy and a former chair of the Health Committee in the Assembly, I’ve long been a proponent of making better use of our health professionals, including community pharmacists. Choose Pharmacy will allow pharmacists to see a patient’s medical records so they can check that the medicine they have been prescribed is the correct dose and there is less chance of error or harm occurring. I will be making the case that every pharmacy in the area should have access to the platform as soon as possible.
“Our highly trained pharmacists can also do so much more to offer treatments to take pressure off GPs and I’m delighted the Labour Welsh Government sees this potential and will be investing heavily in protecting and enhancing our community pharmacy service in Wales.”
Russell Goodway from Community Pharmacy Wales said: “David really saw the potential for using the community pharmacy network to help bring about a localised service in which the over 700 community pharmacies in Wales play a full and expanding role in delivering health care, and we are grateful for his continuing support in maximising the role pharmacists can play in providing the best possible health care.”
(Photo: David Rees AM with the team at Lloyds Pharmacy)