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Minor ailments service

Welsh government puts up £750,000 to support pharmacy minor ailments service

vaughan getting deputy health minister wales

Source: Nick Treharne

A minor ailments services is to be launched in Wales with a £750,000 technology investment, deputy health minister Vaughan Gething (pictured) has announced

A £750,000 technology investment that will enable pharmacists across Wales to provide a minor ailments service to patients has been announced by deputy health minister Vaughan Gething.

Following the completion of a “successful” minor ailments pilot scheme in 2015, Gething announced that the service — called Choose Pharmacy — will become available for health boards to commission locally during 2016.

“By enabling people with minor ailments to see highly skilled pharmacists for advice and treatment, it will free up GPs’ time to focus on those people with more complex cases and reduce patient waiting times,” says Gething.

Under the initiative, patients will have a consultation with a pharmacist who will be able to choose a treatment from a list of medicines, provided for free. Local health boards will have to fund the scheme through their existing budgets if they choose to commission the service.

The money for the IT system will come from the ‘Efficiency through Technology Fund’ and will enable pharmacists to access people’s GP record or their individual health record with consent. Pharmacists will be able to record a consultation electronically, receive electronic discharge information from hospitals and provide an out-of-hours service for supplying emergency medicines to patients with existing prescriptions.

Up to 18% of GPs’ workload and 8% of emergency department consultations are estimated to relate to minor ailments, such as coughs, colds, earache, hay fever, conjunctivitis and head lice.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20200832

Readers' comments (2)

  • Helen Garrood

    How is this different to what we do everyday?
    The therapies chosen are said to be free from a selected list. Do you have to fall into certain categories in order to get the therapy free of charge or would you pay a prescription charge in the same way as you visited the GP for a prescription?

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  • There are no prescription charges in Wales. No payment would be necessary. The approved list are mostly Pharmacy (P ) medicines with some GSL.

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