Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething

The Welsh government has published a five-point plan for shaping health and social care services in the future, with an emphasis on moving services out of hospital and into communities. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh Pharmacy Board has welcomed the plan, saying it “creates a new opportunity for patients to get more benefit from the pharmacy profession”.

The document, titled A Healthier Wales, sets out the government’s proposals for joining up services in Welsh communities. These changes, which are being financed by a £100 million transformation fund, are to be implemented immediately.

The document says that in future people “will only go to a general hospital when it is essential.” The stated goal is to “create even better care locally” through improving community-based services, which the Welsh government says will free up hospitals for those who need them.

'A revolution from within the health service'

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething commented on the new plan: “This will be a revolution from within the health service. We have to move on from the idea that the hospital is the first or best place for you to be when you are unwell. That isn’t always the case, especially when there are a range of local services that will allow you to remain safely at home.

Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board said the Board welcomes the “emphasis on providing care closer to home through building the architecture for primary and community care that will truly harness the skills of health and social care professionals.”

“There are already pockets of innovative pharmacy practice that are making a positive difference to patient care and we believe this plan represents a new opportunity for patients to get more benefit from the pharmacy profession across the healthcare system.

“We have long advocated that pharmacy services can play an important role in helping to rebalance the provision and reconfiguration of services in Wales; moving services upstream, keeping people out of hospital wherever possible, treating ill health and preventing the development of long-term complications.”

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