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Tech to play vital role in Welsh pharmacy plans

Pharmacist using mobile smart phone for search bar on display in pharmacy drugstore shelves background
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The Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee has published its revised vision of the role of pharmacy in Wales, including new opportunities for technology.

It follows the 2019 release of its Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales, a plan for modernising pharmaceutical care in Wales.

The revision, which takes the plan to 2025, recognises developments since 2019 and has set out three new goals for the next three years:

  • a comprehensive review of how the skills and expertise of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can be more effectively used to support hospital patients;
  • a review of how automation, electronic prescribing and pharmacogenomics can help transform the way pharmacy professionals deliver care;
  • exploring how supporting research and development in pharmacy practice can provide a platform for further innovation in the delivery of pharmaceutical care.

Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales provided a clear direction for the development of pharmaceutical care in Wales,” Andrew Evans, the chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales, said of the original vision. “The transformation of the role of community pharmacies has helped us meet the unprecedented challenges we face as a result of the last two years.”

The Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee, an advisory body to the Welsh Government, said automation and electronic prescribing could transform the way the pharmacy profession delivers care.

Complementing e-prescribing

In a statement, the committee said: “Our ambitious new goals build on the work we are already doing to implement e-prescribing in secondary and primary care, increasing the use of digital technology and pharmacogenomics. We also want to ensure the profession meets its obligations to be more socially responsible, tackling inequalities in health, supporting environmental sustainability and promoting the use of the Welsh language.”

“With this comes opportunities to deliver new roles, embed new skills and drive the use of technology to make Wales a vibrant place to work whilst delivering excellent pharmaceutical care,” said Jonathan Simms, Chair of the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee.

The committee said the refreshed goals aim to be the basis for how the pharmacy community in hospitals and community care meet the changing needs of patients and can respond to the challenges facing the NHS.

“The 2025 goals continue to drive our aspirations for pharmacy in Wales, breaking down boundaries between care settings and developing the workforce to ensure patients benefit from the expertise of the pharmacy team wherever and whenever they need it,” said Elen Jones, Director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wales.

“So much has been achieved since the publication of Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales, particularly through the pandemic where teams needed to adapt to maintain vital services to patients,” said Simms.

“The new goals recognise the challenges that the workforce currently face as we recover from the pandemic. Patients benefit from the expertise of the pharmacy team wherever and whenever they need it.”

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