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Government commits ‘substantial payments’ to boost pharmacy services

The Welsh government is hoping to make “substantial payments” available to move services from GP surgeries into pharmacies, the country’s chief pharmaceutical officer has said.

The Welsh government is making the investment to “fundamentally change the role of pharmacy” and shift it away from dispensing, Andrew Evans told C+D in an exclusive interview last month.

Funding has already been made available in the 2018-19 Welsh pharmacy contract for 50 pharmacists to become independent prescribers, with the aim of having one in every pharmacy in the country by 2030.

Pharmacies where these newly trained prescribers can use their skills will also receive the “equivalent of £10,000, split geographically and based on a pro rata basis”, Mr Evans explained.

This money has been “ring-fenced” he said, to specifically support these sites and to be spent on services that these prescribers can perform. This could include treatment for respiratory tract infections, oral contraceptives and other minor ailment treatments, he added.

It will also help to make consultation-based services more financially viable for “smaller” community pharmacies who see fewer patients, Mr Evans said.

Welsh funding for “enhanced services” has grown from £3.9 million in 2016-17 to £6.7m in 2018-19, Mr Evans said.

Read how Wales is forging fundamental change in community pharmacy in C+D's exclusive interview with Andrew Evans.

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