The long-awaited report of the National Assembly’s Health & Social Care Committee was published recently at an event in Grangetown, Cardiff.
As expected, the report is very positive about the contribution that the pharmacy network can contribute to NHS services. It endorses the message that CPW has emphasised for some time that pharmacy is capable of penetrating those hard to reach communities which other services find difficult to reach and recognises this as a key strength of the network. One of its main recommendations is that Welsh Government should introduce a national pharmacy based Chronic Conditions Management service alongside the already announced national Minor Ailments Service. The Committee also recommends that pharmacists be given access to summary patient records where patients are registered with a particular pharmacy.
Commenting on the report, Ian Cowan, Chair of Community Pharmacy Wales said "This Report is an important milestone in the growth of national pharmacy health services in Wales. We welcome this Report as the first strategic consideration of where pharmacy could and should fit in the overall NHS framework in Wales. In implementing their Programme for Government we are working with the current Welsh Government to introduce several new national services through community pharmacies – including palliative care medication; targeted medicines check-ups; a ground breaking hospital discharge medication reconciliation service and, from next winter, NHS flu jabs and treatment of minor ailments. What this Report adds is identification of the strategic role of the Government itself, in ensuring that the potential of community pharmacy is realised for the improvement of health services and to ensure a consistently high standard of services are commissioned from community pharmacy nationally across Wales".