News from the office of Lesley Griffiths, Assembly Member for Wrexham
Tuesday 1st November 2016
For Immediate Publication
Pharmacies in Wales are providing NHS support and care for people with minor illnesses as part of a plan to help alleviate pressure on GPs.
As the UK Government announces plans to cut pharmacy services in England, the Welsh Government is pursuing a different approach and investing in the sector.
Wrexham Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths has backed the Welsh Government’s position, believing the community pharmacy sector is a fundamental part of the primary care service in Wales.
To demonstrate their continued commitment, the Welsh Government has invested more than £750,000 in the Choose Pharmacy programme, upgrading and improving technology to help fully integrate the service.
Choose Pharmacy is being rolled out to across North Wales and will enable pharmacists to access people’s individual health records with their consent, allowing discharge information to be transferred from hospitals to pharmacies and reducing the need for patients to visit their GP.
There are more than 700 pharmacies in Wales dealing with a number of health and welfare services commissioned by local health boards.
In October, the UK Government announced plans to cut the funding available to community pharmacies in England from 1 December 2016. The cuts amount to a reduction of 4% to the sector in England in 2016-17 and over 7% in 2017-18.
Lesley Griffiths AM said:
“Significant Welsh Government investment is enabling community pharmacies to improve primary care services, as well as freeing up GPs’ time by reducing unnecessary appointments.”
“Pharmacists have the expertise and knowledge to offer advice to people with minor ailments. They are readily accessible and offer a wide range of NHS services, such as the seasonable flu vaccination which I received last week.”
“I am pleased the Welsh Government has undertaken a completely different approach to that of the UK Government in England, which last month announced cuts to the service due to come into force this winter.”