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Welsh government invests £100k in pharmacists' minor ailments training

Vaughan Gething: The training should ensure close relations between pharmacists and communities
Vaughan Gething: The training should ensure close relations between pharmacists and communities

The Welsh government has announced a £100,000 funding package for specialist minor ailments and clinical skills training for 50 pharmacists across the country.

Minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething made the announcement during his speech on delivering a healthier Wales at the Welsh Pharmacy Conference last week (May 23).

The money will be used to “develop training for pharmacists to manage more acute, minor ailments in community pharmacies, NHS 111 and general practice”, Mr Gething said.

As well as making services more convenient for patients, Mr Gething said the training should “provide strong and close relations” between pharmacists and communities.

Delivering a healthier Wales

In his speech, Mr Gething highlighted the important role multiskilled community pharmacists will play, as outlined in ‘Pharmacy: delivering a healthier Wales’, published last week.

Mr Gething confirmed that as well as the minor ailments training, £500,000 will be invested this year to train 50 more pharmacists as independent prescribers, and a further £200,000  “is available to help or to establish further community pharmacy prescribing pathfinder sites”.

The long-term plan is for every community pharmacy in Wales to have an independent prescriber by 2030. Currently, there are around 50 pharmacist independent prescribers across the country, chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans told C+D.

The report states that community pharmacy should be “the first point of call for advice on self care, to treat acute conditions and managing [patients'] stable long-term conditions”.

RPS: Thrilled about commitment to pharmacy

Responding to the £100,000 investment, Royal Pharmaceutical Society director for Wales Mair Davies said the society “is thrilled to hear of the continued commitment of the Welsh government to the pharmacy profession”.

“We wholeheartedly welcome the health minister’s enthusiasm to securing and expanding the future roles of the pharmacy team and look forward to working closely with the Welsh government and colleagues across Wales to implement the proposals.”

Last month, the Welsh government announced a £4.9m investment to almost double the number of pre-registration pharmacist places across community, hospital and general practice. This followed the £1.4m increase in community pharmacy funding for 2018-19, announced at the start of April.

Should more pharmacists receive minor ailments training?

Peter Smith, Student

100k is less than what one GP earns in a year. Maybe they could have given out some McDonalds vouchers instead?

Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Political Posturing , Peanuts money,even more Pressure for pharmacists (PPP) ....The scheme for training does not properly finance the pharmacist and involves 'blocks' of training ultimately financed by the individual or struggling employer (if employee begs enough and can find locum cover).You also need to find  a willing GP that's not already over worked. 'Head Pharmacy advisor' to government  has background in hospital pharmacy and argued for reduced support this year for community pharmacists !!!! (not REAL pharmacists like in hospital obviously who can no doubt find the time,backing and finance to attend endless courses with a view to climbing up the greasy pole to higher office ).The much needed help with locum fees for community pharmacists was not made available by the powers that be this year.This is  despite the financial pressure real (community) pharmacies are under.Consequently few wanting to enrol compared to last year.Then we see the not surprising last minute emails from HB trying to drum up candidates.Ultimately, after a year of sweat , this would only lead to a glorified minor ailment scheme consultation at much cheaper cost to NHS than GP consultation.Once again more study, more burden and poor payment for the pharmacist already swamped with prescriptions and poorly paid 'schemes' dreamt up by desk jockies who can't hack it in real pharmacy practice. Utter TOSH.

Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist


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