The volunteer-based scheme uses Pro Delivery Manager (PDM) software to “allocate deliveries to volunteer drivers where people do not have family, friends or neighbours who can collect their prescriptions for them,” the Welsh government announced on Tuesday (May 5).
The PDM system is a “web-based delivery tracking system” developed in Wales to support medicines deliveries to vulnerable patients and has been made available to every community pharmacy in the country.
Volunteers for the service have been recruited directly by the Welsh Government and the British Red Cross, and include “individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, optometry practices and Welsh Government employees,” the government said.
The medicines delivery software matches medicines delivery volunteers with community pharmacies and allows the pharmacy to track the delivery by GPS.
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said the scheme will “provide additional capacity for community pharmacies and dispensing doctors to ensure the health and wellbeing of those shielding continues to be supported.”
The Welsh government is working with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) on the initiative. More than 650 community pharmacies and 18 dispensing doctors in Wales have so far signed up to the scheme, “with over 400 volunteers already recruited”, the government said.
NPA board member for Wales Raj Aggarwal said the NPA is “delighted to have been able to work with the Welsh government, to provide a solution that helps bring volunteers into play and maintain patient safety”.
Pharmacies can also use Royal Mail
Royal Mail has also supported the volunteer delivery service in Wales and is offering a “commercial service” that will see prescription medicines collected from pharmacies by postmen and women and delivered to patients the next day.
The service will run from Monday to Saturday, and pharmacies will be able to track prescriptions.