Regional matters: a vision for Wales

We are currently working to deliver a vision for pharmacy in Wales, says Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board

Suzanne Scott-Thomas

Following its inquiry into medicines management in Wales, the National Assembly’s public accounts committee recommended that the Welsh Government set out a plan to maximise the use of pharmacy resource.

In his response, Vaughan Gething, cabinet secretary for health and social services, committed to working with stakeholders to develop a plan describing the future roles of pharmacy professionals in Wales and the steps to be taken by all stakeholders to maximise their use. The cabinet secretary then wrote to the chair of the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee (WPhC) to request that they deliver such a plan.

As an advisory body, the WPhC has no staff resource directly attached, so RPS Wales was commissioned to facilitate the development of the plan. There are two parts to this work:

  • To address a three-year plan for the future roles of pharmacy
  • To continue the trajectory of a vision for pharmacy up to 2030.

It was agreed that the plan would be delivered by April 2019. With such a short timescale to deliver this monumental piece of work, we are currently in an intensive stakeholder engagement period. We are gathering views from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians during focus groups across Wales, as well as engaging with wider multidisciplinary teams, patients and pharmacy students.

The vision will align with A Healthier Wales: Our Plan for Health and Social Care, published by the Welsh Government in January 2018. The plan lays out its vision for healthcare and identifies the need for “a shift of services from hospitals to communities, and from communities to homes,” with a greater emphasis on health, wellbeing and prevention.

Key principles

To help with this work we have working groups based on the key principles of hospital-based care and treatment, local health and social care services, home-based care and self-management, and health, wellbeing and prevention. The working groups are made up of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with an interest in that area.

We have also been engaging with those developing new, innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence, to ensure that there is a consideration of how advances will influence healthcare over the next 10 years and beyond.

There is still time to share your views. We will be hosting virtual focus groups via webinar, or you can send your ideas to wales@rpharms.com


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