Wales: Pharmacy Covid vaccinations 'must be sped up'

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Wales: Pharmacy Covid vaccinations 'must be sped up'

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Community pharmacies in Wales need to be involved at scale in providing the Covid-19 vaccine, the country's pharmacy negotiator has said.

In a briefing to the Welsh Sennedd, copied to the Welsh health and social care minister and picked up by BBC Wales, Community Pharmacy Wales said: "Everything needs to be sped up. At a minimum, all community pharmacies who currently deliver flu vaccine should be immediately invited to participate and absolutely no community pharmacy that expresses an interest should be turned down."

CPW said that, to date, only Hywel Dda Local Health Board has even asked for expressions of interest from community pharmacists in participating in the Primary Care Covid-19 Immunisation Service (PCCIS) "and even there those contractors who have expressed an interest have still not been commissioned.

"Building on our success and energy in delivering the flu vaccination programme in Wales, we believe community pharmacists will become involved in significant numbers to maximise our contribution to protecting public health". 

CPW pointed out that a financial framework for remunerating community pharmacists for administering the Covid-19 vaccine has already been agreed across the UK. The CPW Board has developed a  short action list which it believes will enable as many members as possible of community pharmacy teams across the country to effectively contribute to the roll out of the vaccine.

CPW's Action List includes:

  • A national approach. CPW would prefer a single national plan for Wales for Covid-19 vaccination in primary care accompanied by a single national booking service to avoid the potential of different commissioning arrangements and lessen variability in vaccine rates. 
  • A maximum commioning approach. As well as a universal invite to community pharmacuies, CPW would like confirmed extended opening hours and a clearer indication on supply volumes for all community pharmacies to meet as much demand as possible.
  • A whole team approach. CPW would like to see the Wales National Protocol offered to all community pharmacies alongside the PGD service so as to include qualified pharmacy technicians and pre-registration pharmacists, provided they have completed the necessary online accreditation. Access to the Welsh Immunisation System (WIS) should be opened up to other members of the pharmacy team, so that support staff can do the necessary administration in a single portal entry.
  • A full prioritisation approach. While recognising the complexity of the programme, CPW says it wants to prioritise Covid-19 vaccine delivery in community pharmacy's daily work, with all options - on-site provision, a trickle approach or a larger clinic included to allow contractors to choose the one to meet the needs of their business and support the health of their local population.

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