Five year Welsh hospital pharmacy plan revealed


A new five-year plan set to revolutionise hospital pharmacy services in Wales has been agreed upon by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething.


The plan will transform how some of the most innovative and life-saving medicines including cancer therapies, intravenous antibiotics and parenteral nutrition, are prepared.


The Transforming Access to Medicines programme is a five-year plan, which the Minister has asked NHS Wales Shares Services Partnership (NWSSP) to develop a business case for with an indicative funding requirement of £67m.


The sterile preparation of medicines also known as aseptic services is a speciality area within hospital pharmacy services. Aseptic Services are responsible for the development, preparation and supply of unique patient-centred medicines, including the preparation of injectable systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT), preparation of parenteral (intravenous) nutrition for people whose medical condition mean they are unable to absorb nutrients from the food they eat, and radio-pharmaceuticals used in diagnosis and treatment of cancers.


With the advances in medicines that deliver improved outcomes for patients, demand for these critical services have been growing. Currently, much of this work is undertaken in hospitals throughout Wales.


In order to expand services NWSSP will develop business cases for the creation of three new integrated regional facilities based in North, South West and South East Wales. Whilst the exact funding required will be confirmed as the business cases are developed, an indicative funding requirement of £67m has been identified.


The three regional facilities will increase NHS Wales’ capacity and capability to prepare the medicines people need and will allow the NHS to capitalise on advances in technology and automation improving patient safety and freeing up nurses’ time for patient care.


Alongside the new facilities, the investment will support transforming the workforce, creating new skilled jobs and boosting productivity. The funding will also create opportunities for collaborations between the NHS and universities supporting clinical trials and research into the development of innovative products that allow medicines to be given at or closer to people’s homes, rather than in hospital.


Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said:


“The regional facilities will be the first of their kind in the UK and will deliver huge benefits, not only for existing medical treatments but also enabling development and research for new treatments. The funding will invest in the future workforce and develop vital skills for a service that is seeing increasing demand. The plans announced today will further support the access to innovative medicines patients in Wales have through our New Treatment Fund and will bolster our commitment to ensure people across Wales have prompt access to the latest and best treatments.”


NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) Managing Director Neil Frow:


“I welcome the Minister confirming his support for this ambitious programme which is a significant investment over the next 5 years. It is a fantastic example of how Health Boards and Trusts are coming together through the Shared Services Partnership to collaborate on delivering improvements for patients in Wales. Over the next few years the development of new hubs will play a key role in developing the capacity and capability to meet the current and future needs of the service.”


This article is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.



Welsh Government backs community pharmacy


The Welsh Government have backed community pharmacy by meeting all the financial requests set out in the previous Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) proposals.


In addition to the previous pandemic related funding a further £3.5m will be provided to community pharmacy contractors, meeting CPW’s formal proposal in full.


In total, £9.1m will have been allocated this financial year. This money has been agreed in recognition of the ‘vital role’ pharmacies played during the height of the pandemic.


In a statement Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services said:


“On 23 December 2020, I announced I would be providing additional funding of £5.6m to community pharmacy contractors to meet additional costs incurred during the COVIC-19 pandemic.


“This funding was able to be provided directly to contractors early in the new year, along with up to £0.6m to pharmacies’ service costs in delivering Government sourced seasonal influenza vaccines administered by pharmacies.


“I also gave a guarantee that pharmacies engaged in the Primary Care COVID-19 Immunisation Scheme, service fees would be paid from additional funding.  We have seen a successful pilot of vaccine delivery in north Wales and a number of other contractors being engaged.  I want to see this involvement of community pharmacy increasing over the next few weeks.  On 1st March the Chief Executive of the NHS wrote to Health Board Chief Executives advising them to put in place arrangements to contract with community pharmacies in their areas which are able to deliver a minimum of 100 appointments each week, managed through the health boards’ established booking systems.


“I also agreed to the deferment of further repayments against the £55m advance payment until the 2021-22 financial year.  I can confirm this has been actioned in order to support the cash flow situation for community pharmacies.


“Finally, I confirmed that further discussions with CPW would be held, should resources become available before the end of the financial year.


“I am today, very pleased to confirm that a further £3.5m will be provided to community pharmacy contractors, meeting CPW’s formal proposal in full.


“In total, this means new money of £9.1m will have been allocated this financial year in recognition of the vital role pharmacies played during the height of the pandemic in all our communities, the length and breadth of Wales.


“I look forward to continuing to work with CPW and our contractors in building on their success and in developing their services further to support our communities as we emerge from these difficult times.”


The Chair of Community Pharmacy Wales, Mark Griffiths, has welcomed substantial additional funding to the community pharmacy network in Wales by the Welsh Government. Mark Griffiths said:


“Community pharmacy contractors across Wales are absolutely delighted that the Welsh Government has met our claim for additional work delivered in dealing with Covid pandemic during the Spring of 2020. This additional sum of £3.5m means community pharmacists will have received over nine million pounds in one financial year.


“This significant additional spending, over and above the community pharmacy contract, reflects and appreciates the hard work and real expenditure made by the network during the most challenging period in the history of community pharmacy.


“We are grateful that the Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething, and the whole Welsh Government have recognised our contribution in word, in deed and in totality.”


Helen Lewis, PDA’s Regional Official for Wales and West of England, said:


“These recent developments clearly signal continued support from the Welsh Government for pharmacists and community pharmacies, and recognition of the role that they have played during the Covid-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that the Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have also made funds available for one-off bonus payments to healthcare workers including pharmacists, in recognition of their work during the pandemic. The Westminster Government is now the only national government that has not announced a similar recognition scheme in respect of health professionals’ contribution during the pandemic.


The news of further investment this week in Wales is also in stark contrast to the ongoing discussions between the PSNC and NHS England around the financial sustainability of pharmacy and in particular costs incurred by contractors in their response to Covid-19. A decision about the status of the £370m advance payment, which contractors are calling to be written off, is yet to be made.”


Delivering a healthier Wales pharmacy delivery board announced


The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, Andrew Evans has today announced the formation of a new board in Wales: Delivering a Healthier Wales Delivery Board.


The Board has been established in response to the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee’s report Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales.


The report outlines the pharmacy profession’s commitment to working in partnership with the Welsh Government, the NHS, the social care sector and the public to maximise the profession’s contribution to a sustainable health care system and improved health and well-being of the nation.


To deliver the profession’s vision for 2030 the report lists the specific goals to be achieved by 2022. The establishment of a Delivery Board will coordinate and support the implementation of these goals which have been identified as the critical building blocks underpinning the longer-term vision.


The Board will be chaired by Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, and will meet quarterly. Additional meetings may be held more frequently if required and if necessary, decisions can be made out of committee.


The first meeting of the Delivery Board will be held virtually in the summer and will discuss what the pharmacy profession has learned from COVID-19 which can contribute to Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales.


Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said:


“I’m pleased we have established the Delivery Board with members representing the breadth of the pharmacy profession and includes both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in primary, secondary care and community pharmacy. They will help us to make choices and shape policy that supports the sector across Wales. I look forward to working with the board in future.”


This article is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.



Critical care capacity has doubled across Wales


Critical care capacity has more than doubled across Wales and 1,000 new ventilators are on order.


The number of available critical care and invasively ventilated beds in Wales has more than doubled – there are now more than 350 and the number continues to increase. Currently, 48% of these beds are occupied and just over half of these are being used to care for people coronavirus.


Hospitals in Wales have 415 ventilators and a further 349 anaesthetic machines with ventilator capacity and 207 non-invasive ventilators. A further 1,035 ventilators are being procured by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and through UK arrangements.


Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:


“I have been overwhelmed by the response of health and care professionals to the calls we have made for their support. This is a humbling reminder of the commitment of our health and care staff.


“Over the last few days we have seen an increase in the pace and urgency of the response across Wales to prepare vital health and care services to meet the imminent challenges posed by coronavirus.


Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, said:


“Across Wales, training has been provided to upskill hundreds of staff who do not normally work in critical care.


“Extra areas have been identified in hospitals to provide more invasive ventilation to patients over and above the space normally available in critical care units. This is in addition to those areas identified as surge capacity for critically ill patients as part of existing plans to double capacity when needed.


“Health boards are working to ensure people who are critically ill are treated in our hospitals using existing and additional capacity.


The NHS is working with military planners to make the extra capacity available as quickly as possible.


Mr Gething added:


“In these most sombre of times it would be easy to forget what has been achieved within just a matter of weeks and the huge progress that has been made for preparing the NHS and social care services for coronavirus.


“We will be relentless in our preparations for the days and weeks ahead but it is important that we recognise what has already been done.


“Our health and care staff, volunteers and businesses in Wales, and indeed across the UK, are coming together in exceptional ways to meet this extraordinary crisis and care for people, prepare services, and to protect communities.


“Every single contribution will help save lives and I am truly thankful to everyone involved.”




Welsh pharmacies and GP teams to receive personal protective equipment


GP surgeries across Wales will receive packs of face masks, gloves and aprons for their personal protection as they treat people with suspected coronavirus, Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced today.


The Health Minister has also confirmed that community pharmacies in Wales will receive personal protective equipment.


Packs were prepared over the weekend and will be distributed to GP surgeries and community pharmacies in Wales this week.


The minister also authorised personal protection equipment to be released from stockpiles for use by frontline NHS and social services staff, should it become necessary.


Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:


“These packs are part of robust infection control measures that we have in place, and I want to reassure people that we are working closely with NHS Wales and social services across the country to implement our planned response.


“It is important that frontline medical and social care staff have the equipment they need to keep them safe while they help people with suspected coronavirus.


“The face masks, gloves and aprons are part of a stockpile that we have in place as part of our contingency planning should they be needed to support our NHS and social services.”



This information has been shared under the terms of the Open Government copyright license.


CPhO Andrew Evans on the opportunities for pharmacy in Wales and beyond

Andrew Evans Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales


Andrew Evans is the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales. At Pharmacy in Practice, we were extremely proud to welcome Andrew on to the podcast to talk about all things pharmacy.


We have outlined the questions we asked Andrew below. Click on the podcast link below to hear what turned out to be a very interesting, informative and entertaining conversation.


  1. How does one achieve the role of Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and what aspect of your role do you really enjoy?
  2. What is your view on the political ‘shenanigans’ in pharmacy?
  3. What exciting pharmacy projects are happening in Wales at the moment?
  4. There has been a significant shift of pharmacists working in general practice. What steps have you taken to ensure pharmacists moving into new roles in general practice are adequately supported?
  5. It is my assertion that some leaders in decision making roles have never actually done the emerging general practice roles. How do you mitigate this risk?
  6. How important are primary care consultant pharmacist roles to the plans for the development of pharmacists in Wales?
  7. How important is pharmaceutical care in modern pharmacy practice?
  8. What is the minimum community pharmacy locum rate you would work for?
  9. Do test and treat sore throat services encourage unnecessary clinical testing of people?
  10. How far are we along the journey to the decriminalisation of inadvertent dispensing errors?
  11. Do you recognise bullying as a problem in pharmacy?
  12. What is your advice for newly qualified pharmacists coming through?



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