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North Wales leading the way on using our pharmacy network, says local MP



Liz Savile Roberts, Member of Parliament for Dwyfor Meirionnydd visited Rowlands Pharmacy in Pwllheli last week (7 April) to see first hand the changing face of pharmacy, and the increased range of services which pharmacies in Wales are now delivering, including the treatment of minor ailments. She was impressed that pharmacies across North Wales had been in the first wave of community pharmacies to connect to the NHS through the groundbreaking Choose Pharmacy IT platform.
The support for pharmacies on a cross party basis is in sharp contrast to the UK Government’s cut to the funding available to community pharmacies in England from 1 December 2016. The cuts amount to a reduction of four pent to the sector in England in 2016-17 and over seven per cent in 2017-18. In Wales, the cuts are not being implemented and instead pharmacies will be funded to increase the number of services which they offer. People will be able to see their pharmacist for free treatment instead of making an appointment to see their GP. Currently almost a fifth of GPs’ workload and eight per cent of emergency department consultations are estimated to relate to minor ailments, such as coughs, colds, ear ache, hay fever and conjunctivitis.
Commenting on the visit Liz Savile Roberts MP said:

“While pharmacies in England are facing 11% funding cuts, I am pleased that here in Wales they are seen as an integral and important part of health service delivery and the funding cut isn’t happening. Plaid Cymru welcomes this investment and we will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure community pharmacies thrive and play an even bigger role in the health care of the future.

“Key to this success is an accessible, reliable IT platform between health professionals. I’m pleased that the new Choose Pharmacy platform is enabling this to happen and it is great news that the people of Dwyfor Meirionnydd were amongst the first in Wales to connect together.”

“Nearly twenty years after devolution we are finally getting a Wales only pharmacy contract which is good news for Wales. Plaid Cymru remains in the forefront of making sure our health professionals are valued and work as a team. Investing in community pharmacy will help to free up GP time to deal with people with more complex needs.”
Speaking for Community Pharmacy Wales, Judy Henley said:
“This is a really transformational time for community pharmacy in North Wales. The new Choose Pharmacy IT platform is being rolled out in Betsi Cadwaladr first, and there is a huge opportunity now to connect up different parts of the health service so that community pharmacy becomes used ever more extensively in making health care accessible and modern.”

(Photo: Liz Saville-Roberts MP with Judy Henley, Associate Director of Contractor Service, CPW and The Team at Rowlands, Pwlheli)