Direct referrals to and from pharmacy services will be introduced in Wales in the next three years, according to an updated version of the Welsh government’s vision for the future of pharmacy.
Among other goals for 2025 included in the ‘refresh’ of ‘Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales’, which was first published in 2019, are that pharmacy professionals will be able to access and update patient records; a network of consultant pharmacists will be set up to lead on clinical priority areas; and that the government will “embed elements of a medicines genomic plan into pharmacy practice”.
The 2019 document, jointly produced by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales and the Welsh government, set out a ten-year plan for the future of pharmacy in the country.
The original plan included 15 goals, which were reviewed by the RPS as part of the updated plan, published on 27 October 2022.
Among the new goals that have been set to be achieved by December 2025, is a promise to review how the skills of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can be more effectively used to support hospital patients; a review of how automation, electronic prescribing and pharmacogenomics can help transform the way pharmacy professionals deliver care; and to explore how supporting research and development in pharmacy practice can encourage innovation in pharmaceutical care.
Following the publication of the updated plan, Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales, said that the pharmacy profession in Wales had made “unbelievable strides” over the past three years.
“The goals for 2025 promise as much, if not more, transformation than the goals we set three years ago,” he said.
“Our ambitious new goals build on the work we are already doing to implement ePrescribing in secondary and primary care, increasing the use of digital technology and pharmacogenomics. We also want to ensure the profession meets its obligations to be more socially responsible, tackling inequalities in health, supporting environmental sustainability and promoting the use of the Welsh language.”
Elen Jones, RPS director for Wales, said: “The 2025 goals continue to drive our aspirations for pharmacy and patients, recognising the current pressures facing the workforce after a period of significant disruption and challenge.
“I feel increasingly confident we are on track to meet our 2030 aspirations and I look forward to further supporting this agenda over the next three years”.
Eluned Morgan, Welsh minister for health and social services, said that “excellent progress” had been made on the 2019 goals, but she warned: “We have got to make it easier for the public to understand what’s now being offered in pharmacies.”