The role of advanced practice pharmacists in primary care is being developed in Wales as part of the Welsh government’s workforce plans for the next three years.
In a new report ‘A planned primary care workforce for Wales’, launched by health minister Mark Drakeford on 17 July 2015 and which is backed with an extra £4.5m of funds, the Welsh government pledges its support to develop the role.
The government wants pharmacists to work in large GP practices or across one of the 64 primary care clusters that are being created and which are made up of a local network of GPs, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, therapists, nurses and healthcare workers.
These advanced practitioners will offer specialist medicines support which, in some cases, could include the management of long-term conditions or minor illness.
They will also be expected to support patients on multiple medicines and liaise with hospitals, community pharmacies and care homes to promote medicines safety, review prescribing systems and help reduce drugs cost and wastage.
The plan also envisages a greater clinical role for the wider community pharmacy workforce, which it says could effectively deal with minor ailments, which make up around 18% of the workload in general practice.
The Welsh government also wants to recruit more GPs and promises to reimburse medical school fees when a newly qualified doctor commits to a career in general practice. And the government wants the law changed to allow GPs registered in England to work in Wales for short periods without having to make a full application to join a welsh health board’s performers list.