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Pharmacies to receive daily rate of £220 to prescribe UTI treatments

The new service will build on the existing Choose Pharmacy scheme in Wales
The new service will build on the existing Choose Pharmacy scheme in Wales

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”.

Government backing

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.”

11 Comments
Question: 
Will your pharmacy be delivering the service?

Andrew Paxton, Community pharmacist

precisely

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I my opinion, this scheme fits more for a 2 Pharmacists Pharmacy, if one exists. If not then hiring an extra Pharmacist just to provide this service will rather make the Pharmacy OOP than add to the income.

C A, Community pharmacist

If you have a lot of regular demand the payments might cover an ACT, they aren't going to cover a locum/second pharmacist.

Richard MacLeavy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

It's sort of like buy one get 3 free as you get £75 for one consultation and £75 for 4. Who's going to do more than 1 per day?

Andrew Paxton, Community pharmacist

A bit like the NMS service when it started.  The payment was £x for up to 5, then £2x for up to 10, and so on

C A, Community pharmacist

Do you reckon we could get the GPs to accept a similar funding deal? 

Perhaps pharmacies need a booking system for UTI consultations? 

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Clickbait. Nothing to do with us in England! 

RS Pharmacist, Primary care pharmacist

They need to re title the article to include the words "WALES"

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Except that it'll be our taxes that fund it. Don't forget about that.

Paul Samuels, Community pharmacist

Really!! Time ? Monetary return minimal ! Great idea if given a realistic return.

Who will have the time to earn £220 daily.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

This is the thing isn't it? While the pharmacist is doing their 9-12 consultations a day, which, with the associated paperwork, will take up best part of the day, who is checking the prescriptions, answering queries or seeing the walk-in patients for whom only the pharmacist is good enough? On the face of it, it's a nice scheme with a decent amount of money attached to it for ilnesses we are perfectly capable of treating, but once again, it hasn't been thought through from the perspective of an already overworked pharmacist, and we all know that the people who do the actual work associated with this will see peanuts at best, unless they are an indy, with the contractors creaming off the bulk of the payments to line their own pockets.

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