Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething has today (Thursday May 23) announced a £100,000 funding package to provide 50 pharmacists with specialist minor ailments training.
Making the announcement at the Welsh Pharmacy Conference, Mr Gething said a skilled pharmacy workforce was needed to deliver A Healthier Wales, the Welsh Government’s long-term plan for health and social services.
The training will be delivered by Health Education and Improvement Wales, and will aim to equip pharmacists with clinical skills relevant to minor ailments, which the Welsh Government said is “traditionally not included in initial pharmacy training”.
With an estimated five per cent of emergency department consultations and 13 per cent of GP consultations taken up with minor ailments that could be managed by pharmacists, the Welsh Government hopes the training will free up doctors’ time, as well as making it easier for patients to access care.
Mr Gething said: “I welcome the efforts of Welsh pharmacy professionals in working to ensure that pharmacies meet the changing healthcare needs of the people of Wales. There is increasing potential for pharmacists to be seen beyond their traditional role of dispensing medicines.
“Our commitment, backed with significant new funding this year for training and continuing professional development, will ensure a sustainable and appropriately-trained pharmacy workforce in Wales.
“It will also offer pharmacists more varied and professionally rewarding careers.”
Chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales Andrew Evans said: “The Welsh Government and the profession have already achieved a great deal through working together. It is important that we continue to respond to the changing needs both of the people of Wales and our healthcare system. Seeing the right person, at the right time, to help them to say fit and well, lies at the heart of that.”
The announcement of funding for minor ailments training followed a pledge made by the Welsh Government in April to invest £4.9m by 2023-24 to “transform” the training available to pre-registration pharmacists.