This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Welsh health minister hails success of CCPS one year on

NHS & health news

Welsh health minister hails success of CCPS one year on

Welsh health and social services minister Eluned Morgan

The increased availability of community pharmacy services has meant hundreds of thousands of people haven’t needed GP consultations, the Welsh health and social services minister, Eluned Morgan, has claimed.

Reforms to pharmacy services introduced in April 2022 mean that a wider range of clinical services are now offered by community pharmacists in Wales. A new report, Presgripsiwn Newydd – A New Prescription – One year on, has highlighted the "beneficial impact of those services for people needing to access primary care".

“In the first year following our reforms, significant progress has been made to utilise the skills, expertise and accessibility of pharmacists in our communities more effectively,” the minister said.

“I am delighted to see it is helping to ensure more people in Wales have access to the NHS care they need from appropriately skilled professionals, closer to home, whenever they need it.”

Almost all the 708 pharmacies in Wales now provide free advice and treatment for common ailments, access to the morning after pill and oral contraception, emergency supplies of medicines, and influenza vaccinations, through the Clinical Community Pharmacy Service (CCPS).

CCPS consultations top half a million

The report shows that 530,010 consultations took place across all CCPS services in the first year following its launch, up from 412,784 in 2021-22 and 23,779 in 2020-21.

While the number of consultations in the long-standing emergency contraception and seasonal influenza vaccination services remained stable following the reforms, there were significant increases in emergency medicines supplies and common ailment service consultations.

The number of emergency medicines supply service consultations increased by more than 50 per cent (81,545 versus 52,744). A substantial increase in common ailment service activity saw more than a quarter of a million consultations taking place since the reforms came into force, rising to more than 300,000 consultations since Presgripsiwn Newydd – A New Prescription was published in December 2021.

The number of people registered as Common Ailment Service users has also gone up, with 74,000 more people registered in March 2023 than April 2022, an increase of 64 per cent.

Almost 80 per cent of people who visited a pharmacy and used the CCPS reported they would have visited a GP or out-of-hours service if it was not available, indicating the freeing up of over 400K GP appointments.

The reforms also included a commitment to significantly accelerate the roll out of independent prescribing in community pharmacy. More than 2,800 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have completed additional training to allow them to provide a new national pharmacist independent prescribing service (PIPS), enabling them to treat a wider range of illnesses such as urinary tract, ear and skin infections.

The PIPS was available from 119 pharmacies (17 per cent) by March 2023, up from 85 in April 2022. More than 46,000 consultations were carried out in the last year with 98 per cent of people using the service reporting they would have visited their GP or another NHS service had the pharmacist not been able to prescribe a treatment for them.

Wales chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans said: “Our community pharmacy reforms are not only improving access to care but also ensuring we fully utilise the clinical skills and expertise of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in every part of Wales. The support we are providing means more pharmacists than ever are completing additional training so they can prescribe medicines for people reducing further still the number of people who need to visit their GP.”

Copy Link copy link button

NHS & health news