The Welsh government has given its support to pharmacist access to patient healthcare records.
In a keynote speech at the Medicines Safety Conference in Cardiff on 18 November 2015, Welsh government deputy minister for health Vaughan Gething acknowledged the importance of pharmacists being granted access to individual patient records.
“The Welsh government will continue to recognise that you need the tools to do your job effectively and one of those tools is access to the individual patient record,” he said. “It’s a real frustration to us in government that we haven’t been able to make more progress but I can absolutely say that this very much remains part of what the minister and I want to see and expect to see in the future.”
Gething’s comments reflect one of the three core commitments outlined in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) 2016 Welsh Policy Vision ‘Steps to Better Health and Wellbeing’ for improving the role of pharmacists across Wales. The policy document was officially launched at the Medicines Safety Conference, which was organised jointly by RPS Wales and the national healthcare improvement programme, 1000 Lives Plus.
Speaking at the launch, Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board, gave an optimistic view of the future of pharmacy in Wales: “I am confident that we will deliver the most ambitious, seamless and safe system and I’m looking forward to showcasing Wales in other parts of the UK. Wales will be leading the way.”
RPS Wales will spend the next few months debating and discussing the policy vision with ministers, assembly members and policymakers in the run up to the Welsh elections being held in May 2016.
The Medicines Safety Conference, which is in its fifth year, was based around the message ‘Medicines safety — everybody’s business’ and featured input from representatives across NHS Wales. The aim of the day was to bring together those committed to medicines safety and highlight the steps being taken now and planned for the future to improve medicines safety in Wales and England.