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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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RPSpolicyvisionOctober 28 2015

Political parties should commit to establishing a pharmacy-led Welsh Chronic Medication Service, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.

In addition, political parties should commit to making sure pharmacists have access to individual health records, and that pharmacists’ expertise is fully integrated into NHS multidisciplinary teams.

The challenges are made in an RPS Wales document setting out its policy vision for pharmacy ahead of the 2016 Welsh Election. The document, ‘Steps to Better Health and Wellbeing’, has been published now to help shape the drafting of political manifestos, so as to ultimately help improve patients’ access to services and build NHS capacity.

It says that the current model of pharmacy delivery is out of date and calls on political parties to commit to unlocking the full potential of pharmacy, highlighting the importance of a fully-engaged pharmacy workforce.

RPSpolicyvision2“Utilising the medicines expertise of pharmacists in the treatment of people with chronic conditions is a particular need in Wales. A specific pharmacy-based chronic medication service is a key solution to meeting the increasing needs of people with chronic conditions and the ageing population,” says RPS Wales.

“By accessing a pharmacist who is able to prescribe and adjust medicines as part of routine care, patients with chronic conditions will be supported and coached to get the most from their medication regime.

“As part of a shared arrangement with GPs, this service will help to increase access to care for patients, utilise the expertise of pharmacists and build capacity in the health system. It will also contribute to solutions to address the increasing pressures on GP services and reducing medicines related emergency admissions to hospital.”

The document sets out benefits of making greater use of the pharmacy workforce, including:

  • pharmacists can free up appointments in primary care by supporting patients with their treatment following diagnosis by their GP
  • the profession can help people to become active partners in their self-care and experts in the use of their own medicines
  • routine reviews of medicines means pharmacists can advise health professionals and patients when a medicine is no longer clinically appropriate and should be stopped
  • the management of people’s medicines can help to reduce medication related admissions to hospital, shift care into the community and closer to people’s homes, and support hospitals to manage unavoidable and planned admissions.

Suzanne Scott-Thomas, Chair of the RPS’s Welsh Pharmacy Board, said the policy vision “underlines the importance of harnessing the skills of the pharmacy profession and their expertise in medicines. We are looking for commitment from the political parties in Wales to push these changes forward to improve patient safety, increase access to services and to help build capacity by ensuring all health professionals can work at the top of their game.”

Links:

RPS announcement

RPS Wales Policy Vision 2016

‘Steps to Better Health and Wellbeing: RPS Policy Vision for Wales’

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