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Wales seeking 60 pharmacists to lead primary care clusters from April

Andrew Evans: The new pharmacy contract promises a more rewarding clinical professional future

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.

What other services do you think pharmacy should be commissioned to deliver?

Michael Mustoe, Community pharmacist

We must grasp this opportunity in Wales, with both hands. To become fully integrated, and funded, within Primary Care, is pure common sense. It will be a great step forward for patient care in Wales. A little disappointed at the timeline - could it not have been 2025?
The Choose Pharmacy Common Ailments Service is great, if a little clunky technologically, and a little long-winded in the administration!!!
Community Pharmacy has really demonstrated its amazing value for money, in stepping up to the plate during the Covid19 epidemic. Let's move forward at pace, and make the most of the skills that are out in every high street Pharmacy, working alongside our GP colleagues

Grace Lewis, Editorial

To be fair to the Welsh government and negotiating team, there are some goals they'd like to hit by 2022, but the overall strategy seems to have everything in place by 2030:

Grace Lewis, C+D

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