Hats off to Wales

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Hats off to Wales

For some, there’s better news “We’re recognising that it’s about quality, regarding community pharmacy remuneration. The health minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething, announced that, unlike in England, funding for community pharmacy wil lnot be cut. Hurrah!

Instead, pharmacists in Wales will be rewarded for improving medicines safety and for providing clinical services. That’s not to say the pharmacy contract in Wales won’t change; it almost certainly will, but clinical services will take priority over dispensing. MrGething said: "We're recognising that it's about quality, not just quantity.”

This is music to my ears. It’s obvious that our future lies in pharmaceutical care –  delivering outcomes, not paper bags full  of medicines that can be dispensed by a robot. It’s about taking full advantage of
the unrivalled accessibility that community pharmacy has, and making better use of our most valuable resource – the pharmacists who have daily contact with people when they’re healthy as well as when they’re ill.

In contrast to England, there’s a minor ailments scheme – ‘Choose Pharmacy’ – currently being rolled out across Wales. Are health needs so completely different to the west of Offa’s Dyke? These differences in both attitude and policy reveal how unnecessary the cuts to pharmacy in England are, and how ridiculous is the explanation that the cuts are needed for the sake of efficiency.

I take my hat off to Mr Gething, not because he’s woken up and smelled the coffee, but because he’s had the imagination to see what community pharmacy has to offer, and the integrity to take positive action to help deliver it.

Withering is the pen name of a practising independent community pharmacist. Withering’s views are not necessarily those of ICP

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