Welsh common ailments scheme leaves England isolated

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Welsh common ailments scheme leaves England isolated

The announcement of a national common ailments scheme for Wales leaves England isolated as the only part of the UK without such a scheme.

The 'Choose Pharmacy' service will be based on two pathfinder schemes and be supported with a new £750,000 IT platform to roll out across all 716 community pharmacies in Wales. The IT platform will facilitate electronic transfer of medicines information at hospital discharge, enable pharmacy emergency supplies, and allow patients to give permission for pharmacy access to their Individual Health Record.

Russell Goodway, chief executive at Community Pharmacy Wales, said: "The announcement today paves the way for the transformation of the Wales-based community pharmacies into a network of health centres located in every community in Wales utilising the clinical expertise of highly trained pharmacists who are amongst the most qualified health professionals working for the NHS." Mr Goodway pledged to work with Welsh Government, NHS Wales Informatics Service and health boards to secure the earliest possible roll-out of the service.

NPA chairman Ian Strachan said: "I hope the announcement in Wales will prompt ministers and officials in England to think again about their plans for disinvestment in the pharmacy front line and to put a national common ailments scheme firmly back on the table.”

Mair Davies, director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, welcomed the Choose Pharmacy Scheme. "We have been calling for peoples GP records to be shared appropriately with community pharmacists for several years. This will improve quality of care and safety in the use of medicines.”

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