Llanelli AM impressed with modern face of pharmacy
Following his visit to Evans Pharmacy in Llanelli on 2 December, local AM Lee Waters was impressed at the way community pharmacy is embracing new opportunities being offered by the Welsh Government and also investing in new technology. He experienced first hand a robot dispenser, which is the only one in west Wales.
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.
Lee Waters AM said:
“I’m delighted Llanelli is one of the first towns in Wales where a pharmacy robot is being used not to replace staff but to enhance the accuracy and quality of the service.
“I’ve long been a proponent of making better use of our community pharmacists. Choose Pharmacy will enable pharmacists to be able to see a patient’s medical records so they can make sure the medicine they have been prescribed is the correct dose and there is less chance of error or harm. It will also enable them to deliver more common ailment services to take the pressure off GPs.
“I’m delighted the Labour-run Welsh Government sees this potential and will be investing heavily in protecting and enhancing our community pharmacy service in Wales. I will be making the case to Hywel Dda LHB that every pharmacy in the area should have access to the platform as soon as possible.”
Mo Nazemi from Evans Pharmacy said:
“Installing the dispensing robot was a major first for Carmarthenshire and we share Lee’s enthusiasm for making community pharmacy services as modern, wide ranging and accessible as possible.”
Commenting on the visit, Russell Goodway from Community Pharmacy Wales said:
"It was a pleasure to welcome Lee Waters 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: Lee Waters AM with Mo Nazemi