The Welsh Government has backed a review of hospital pharmacy care carried out by Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales.
The RPS Wales review, ‘Prescribing progress: Transforming clinical hospital pharmacy in Wales for enhanced patient care’, published on 21 September 2023, made a total of 36 recommendations covering areas including patient-centred care, prescribing, use of technology and workforce development. The Welsh government has accepted all the recommendations made in the report.
The Welsh government’s response to the review, also published on 21 September 2023, committed to 60 “strategic actions” that it says will provide a blueprint for transforming hospital clinical pharmacy services to meet the ambitions set out in the RPS’s long-term vision for pharmacy in Wales.
Among the actions are ensuring that health boards make sure all urgent and emergency care settings have a clinical pharmacy service, with pharmacist prescribers incorporated into multidisciplinary teams in those departments; commissioning a review of opportunities to improve the efficiency of hospital medicines supply with the aim of releasing pharmacist time for clinical care; and Health Education and Improvement Wales undertaking a review of the continuing professional development for hospital pharmacy teams to ensure it is meeting their development needs.
Elen Jones, director for RPS Wales, said: “I’m delighted that the Welsh government has accepted our recommendations in full. Like the whole health service, hospital pharmacy is facing significant challenges in delivering urgent, emergency and planned care. However, we’re clear that implementation of our recommendations will empower pharmacy teams to meet these challenges effectively.
“Collectively for pharmacy teams, implementation should lead to greater prominence within NHS boards and trusts, with empowerment to take the lead on all aspects of safe and effective use of medicines, while for individual pharmacy professions, implementation will lead to their expert skills and knowledge being recognised and utilised to the full.”
A statement from Eluned Morgan, Welsh minister for health and social services, said: “[The review] concluded that across Wales, there are many good examples of pharmacy professionals making the contributions the NHS needs to support urgent and emergency care, planned care, and quality improvement. However, these are inconsistently delivered, not just between health boards, but often between hospitals within the same health board.
“We accept the review’s recommendations and want to see collaborative and co-ordinated action between organisations to achieve an innovative and progressive approach to the future delivery of pharmaceutical care within our hospitals across Wales.
“The review’s findings have reinforced that clinical pharmacy services are an essential component of high-quality hospital care, helping to improve health outcomes and prevent avoidable harm. But as the nature of hospital care changes, so too must the provision of clinical pharmacy services to better meet the health needs of people all over Wales,” she added.