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Wales seeking 60 pharmacists to lead primary care clusters from April

Around 60 “primary care cluster community pharmacy leads” will be appointed in Wales to help “fully integrate” the sector, chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans has said.

Announcing the roles yesterday (March 11) at the Celtic Conference, Mr Evans used his presentation to outline measures to have “pharmacy fully integrated into primary care clusters” by 2030.

Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) told C+D that the primary care cluster leads appointed from within community pharmacy will start their roles on April 1.

It welcomed the new roles “as a signal of the closer collaboration and tighter integration of community pharmacy services with primary care clusters”.

When asked by C+D what training and support these new cluster leads will receive, “CPW, local health boards and Health Education and Improvement Wales will all play a role in supporting the community pharmacists who take on these new roles”, the negotiator said.

Service-based contract on the horizon?

Also in his presentation, Mr Evans said his team and CPW were “working hard” on negotiating the terms of the new pharmacy funding contract for the country.

The new contract “promises to offer many more clinical services and a more rewarding clinical professional future for pharmacists in the community”, he said.

CPW confirmed to C+D that after a pause in the contract “reform process”, which was “due to the demands of the COVID-19 vaccine programme”, discussions had restarted at the end of February, with the aim of concluding by October 2021.

Last June, the Welsh government announced that funding for pharmacies will increase by £18.3 million by 2023.

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