Pharmacies to receive daily rate of £220 to prescribe UTI treatments
Pharmacies could be paid up to £220 a day to prescribe treatments for minor illnesses, including UTIs and impetigo, as part of an initiative in North Wales.
The service, which is based on work done by C+D award-winning pharmacist Dylan Jones, will first launch later this month in the three-strong Fferyllwyr Llyn Cyf pharmacy chain in Gwynedd, before being rolled out to up to 40 pharmacies across Wales later this year.
Under the acute illnesses service, patients will have a consultation with a pharmacist and then be treated for conditions such as urinary tract infections, chest infections, ear infections and impetigo.
Pharmacies are expected to be paid a daily rate of £75 for delivering up to four consultations, £150 for delivering between five and eight, and £220 for between nine and 12 consultations a day, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board confirmed to C+D.
Community Pharmacy Wales stressed to C+D that these rates have been agreed for the interim pilot service in the Betsi Cadwaladr health board area, and national rates are still under negotiation across the seven health boards.
Fferyllwyr Llyn Cyf pharmacy superintendent Steffan John said his three branches now have five pharmacists qualified as independent prescribers, and the wider pharmacy teams have also been upskilled in preparation for the launch of the service.
In addition to undergoing independent prescriber training – which the Welsh government invested £500,000 in for pharmacists across the country in May – the pharmacists undertook an additional course in minor illnesses at Bangor University, Mr John explained.
He expects the service to start “slowly”, with pharmacies seeing up to four patients a day. “But as things progress, we're hoping to see more”.
The country's chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans told C+D the acute conditions service is part of the Welsh government's drive to increase services offered in pharmacies.
The initiative “sits very closely” with Wales' existing Choose Pharmacy service for common ailments, which encourages people to present at their local pharmacy with minor illnesses rather than see a GP, he explained.
“Sometimes those acute minor illnesses will require more sophisticated treatment, which requires a prescription, and greater clinical skills from the pharmacists who are seeing those patients,” Mr Evans said.
The Welsh government has allocated money for specialist minor ailments training, clinical skills and independent prescribing training, Mr Evans added.
Mr John said: “It's nice to see that the Welsh government and the health board are really supportive and behind this.”