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Primary Care Clusters

Primary Care Cluster Community Pharmacy Lead 

Why were primary care clusters created?
The Welsh Government set out the concept of GP services being co-ordinated on a “locality basis” in its primary and community services strategic delivery programme  Setting the Direction (2010).  It  recognised the fact that the vast majority of health and care needs are met in local communities by primary care and community services and that patients want care to be local, convenient, and of consistently high quality. The General Practitioners Committee of BMA Wales agreed a new contract deal with the Welsh Government (effective April 2014) which embedded this concept and, resulted in clusters being established with formal arrangements for GP practices to work collaboratively to develop services in their locality.

There are 64 primary care clusters across Wales, serving populations of between 30,000 and 50,000 patients. The geographical area that a cluster covers is determined by individual local health boards. The intention is that clusters are used as local planning mechanisms by grouping several adjacent GP practices and their partner organisations (including community pharmacies) together to plan services for the specific population registered with them. Clusters also have a key role in supporting local health needs assessments, allocating appropriate resources and forecasting the potential future demand on primary care. Primary care clusters are expected to develop three-year plans which in turn will shape and underpin the health board level integrated medium term plans.
Cluster engagement with community pharmacy
The cluster design aims to promote joint working across GP practices, pharmacies, dental practices and optometrists and, the integration of primary care services with key partners such as the Ambulance Trust, Local Authority and Third Sector. The 64 clusters are in varying stages of maturity and integration with partner organisations.  Whilst some have focused so far on promoting collaboration between local GP practices, others have gone some way in attempting to engage community pharmacy; the implementation of the Common Ailments Scheme and Collaborative Working element of the pharmacy contract has seen heightened engagement.

Involvement of community pharmacy has taken different forms in different health boards, and even differs between clusters within a health board. Information on clusters within individual health boards can be found below:
Aneurin Bevan
Betsi Cadwaladr
Cardiff and Vale
Cwm Taf Morgannwg Hywel Dda
Further information on Primary Care Clusters is available on the Primary Care One website  

Primary Care Cluster Plans

Primary Care Cluster Lists

Examples of Presentations for Clusters

Community Pharmacy- In support of Primary Care Clusters- Flyer

Primary Care One Flyer

Cluster Leads July 2018

Cluster Working in Wales: Handbooks