The total value of the community pharmacy contract in Wales will remain at £144.3m for the 2017–2018 financial year, health secretary Vaughan Gething has reaffirmed.
In a statement issued on 10 April 2017, Gething, cabinet secretary for health, well-being and sport, said: “At a time when thousands of community pharmacies in England face closure as a result of funding cuts of over 7%, there [are] no proposals to reduce investment in community pharmacy here in Wales.”
Gething also announced that funding would be made available from April 2018 to allow all pharmacies in Wales to have access to ‘Choose Pharmacy’ IT applications by the end of 2020. The software, designed to help pharmacists deliver the Welsh common ailment service, will provide access to patients’ summary care records.
Gething says the widespread availability of the Choose Pharmacy software will “significantly reduce the number of people who need to be referred to GP out-of-hours services and A&E departments and will deliver considerable improvements in patient safety”.
Phil Parry, chair of Community Pharmacy Wales, which negotiates on behalf of community pharmacy contractors in Wales, welcomes the funding announcement. “We are delighted that the Welsh government is continuing to work collaboratively with us as a profession to maximise the opportunities to modernise and utilise the pharmacy network in Wales,” he says.