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Welsh community pharmacies see £1.4m funding rise for 2018-19

The Welsh government considered warnings of pressures on pharmacy

The Welsh government will channel an extra £1.4 million to the sector for 2018-19, with each pharmacy receiving around £1,600.

The move to add more funding – a 1% increase on the current global sum of £144.3m – was announced by minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething on Monday (April 1).

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the inflationary pressures pharmacies are experiencing are a risk to us realising the potential of community pharmacy to improve health and wellbeing,” Mr Gething said.

The minister said the extra money “will also secure further changes to the contractual arrangements in 2019-20, to improve quality, medicines safety and the availability of new and innovative services from pharmacies and which take pressure off other parts of the NHS”.

CPW: Contractors will be disappointed

Mr Gething said he had given “careful consideration” to warnings he received “earlier this year” from Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW).

“CPW made representations to me regarding concerns that the community pharmacy sector was facing a range of financial and regulatory pressures which, if not addressed, could slow the rate of transformation,” he said.

In a document to contractors sent before the announcement – a copy of which C+D has seen – CPW explained the increase would result in a single payment to each Welsh pharmacy of “some £1,600”.

This is “far short” of what CPW had requested and “contractors will be disappointed”, it added.

The Welsh government have not guaranteed the 2019-20 contract will include the 1% rise, but CPW will “press the case for a significant increase”, the negotiator said.

RPS: Funding will support patient access

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh pharmacy board chair Suzanne Scott-Thomas said the funding “will support patient access to appropriate care in the community and make medicines use safer in Wales”.

“We recognise that radical and sustainable transformation of care can only be achieved through investment in new and innovative services, above and beyond the existing allocation of resources,” Ms Scott-Thomas added.

Welsh community pharmacies received £144.3m funding for 2017-18, an increase on the £140.4m for 2016-17.

C+D has asked the Welsh government and CPW for further comment.

What do you make of the Welsh government's announcement?

P M, Community pharmacist

love these two comments 

Independent Dave, Community pharmacist

! Newsflash !....English community pharmacies to receive a further 18 Months of category M cuts in 2019/20, due to the excess profits made from an independent selling a sandwich to Ethel from down the road. Sources say the sandwich was actually from the shop next door, and that the pharmacy doesn’t even sell any sandwiches, but this was rejected in court. An Nhs spokesman has said “These cuts are necessary to provide further efficiencies, by doing so, we can become more efficient, which allows us to make more efficiencies, becoming more efficient. We are also now allowing any trained professional mime artists or cruise ship entertainers to stand in place of the pharmacist, thus providing further services.......more efficiently”

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

It further transpired the sandwich wasn't vegan as stated on the packaging and the GPhC are now investigating the pharmacy for not decommisioning the sandwich as it was handed out to the customer. 'FMD applies to everything in the pharmacy', the GPhC has said in a statement. 

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