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Independent prescriber pharmacists in Wales deliver 16k consultations

Thirty-three community pharmacies in Wales have delivered more than 16,000 consultations through independent prescribing (IP) services, CPW has announced.

Thirty-three community pharmacies in Wales now have at least one independent prescriber (IP), who have helped to deliver more than 16,000 consultations for acute conditions, CPW has said.

Some 33 pharmacies have been commissioned at different points in time to offer services that require an IP qualification, including acute conditions, medicines withdrawal and contraception, Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW), the Welsh government and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Wales showed in an infographic published yesterday (June 30).

The data points to consultations completed from the point in time when the pharmacies were commissioned up until June 1, 2021.

Llanidloes Pharmacy was the first pharmacy in Wales to be commissioned by the Powys Teaching Health Board in December 2016 to offer consultations for acute conditions. As of June 1, it had delivered as many as 7,299 IP-related service consultations, according to the infographic.

Superintendent pharmacist and sole IP at the pharmacy Dylan Jones told C+D today (July 1) that he pitched the service to the health board back in 2015, in response to the closure of a couple of local GP practices and a third one losing GP partners.

“Patients love it,” he said. They do not need to book an appointment to see Mr Jones, although he encourages them to ring first, “especially during COVID-19”, he added.

With time, he hopes he will be able to employ more locum pharmacists with an IP qualification.

More pharmacies to join in the next five years

A CPW spokesperson told C+D that the number of pharmacies expected to offer independent prescribing services should “at least double” by the end of 2021/22, as those pharmacists whose IP training had been affected by COVID-19 start to come on board.

Eluned Morgan, minister for health and social services, said that the Welsh government’s plans for “contractual reform will see very many more pharmacies offering these services in the next five years”.

“These data demonstrate how our investment both to support community pharmacists to train as prescribers and to fund these important services, is improving access for people across Wales,” Ms Morgan added.

C+D reported last month that Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) had increased the number of IP training places for community pharmacists from 50 to 60 this year.

CPW director of contractor services Judy Thomas said: “The community pharmacy network is committed to the objective of all pharmacies having an independent prescriber, as detailed in Pharmacy Delivering a Healthier Wales, which is a vision document for the future sharing common goals between government, health boards and pharmacists.”

Policy lead for RPS Wales Jonathan Lloyd Jones said all partners want to see the data in the infographic grow significantly.

“Displaying this data in such an easy to understand way shows not only what community pharmacy can do, but what they are able to do in the future. As the number of independent prescribers grows, the size of the numbers will expand significantly,” he added.

Does your pharmacy have independent prescriber pharmacists?

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