On Friday 6th January Mark Drakeford AM visited the Rees & Moore Pharmacy in Canton in his constituency of Cardiff 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.
Stressing the value of the deal, Mark Drakeford, who is also the Finance Secretary in the Welsh Government and a previous Health Minister, said:
“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.
“A decade ago pharmacy licensing changed in England, but the Welsh Government kept changes to a minimum. This has enabled pharmacies here to operate with more security and better planning, building confidence in a steadily increasing role for community pharmacies in the health system.
“We have put in place the building blocks to enable this to happen. 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.”
Sam Moore from Moore & Rees Pharmacy, Canton, Cardiff and Mark Drakeford AM