Julie James supports health on the high street
On Friday 3rd February Julie James AM visited a Well pharmacy in her constituency of Swansea West to discuss current changes to the way community pharmacies are supported in Wales.
The visit came at the time that 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.
Julie James AM said:
"I was delighted to visit St Helens Pharmacy in Swansea's city centre. It is vital we keep community pharmacies on our local high streets, they help provide vital services which can help alleviate pressure on our GPs. In Wales, we know the advantages a thriving community pharmacy sector afford.
"The new Choose Pharmacy IT platform being rolled out by the Welsh Labour Government reiterates our commitment in Wales to keeping health on our high street. It will see pharmacists take responsibility for managing a range of minor ailments, allowing people 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."
Commenting on the visit, Russell Goodway. Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales, said:
"It was a pleasure to welcome Julie James for a constructive and positive discussion on how health on the high street can be made as accessible and broad as possible. This is a critical time for community pharmacy and we are grateful for his continued support in ensuring that the next five years see a gear change in the number of services on offer, taking the pressure off GPs and hospitals."
Photo: Mandy Ditchfield, Julie James AM, Denise Loosemore, Andrew Gully