Promoting Patient Safety through the Welsh Pharmacy Board Manifesto
This Manifesto has been developed by the Welsh Pharmacy Board to contribute to the important debate in Wales about the key challenges currently facing the NHS and how these challenges should be met following the National Assembly for Wales elections in 2011. The manifesto provides the main political parties and election candidates in Wales with the information needed to inform their strategic priorities for health and well being.
We understand that the current economic climate places considerable pressures on public spending and that the drive for substantial efficiency savings must lead to new ways in delivering care to improve the health of the nation. We believe that action should now be taken to bring the pharmacy profession ‘out of the shadows’ and into the forefront of NHS services. Pharmacists are often the silent partner in health care delivery but yet their expertise in medicines is unique and contributes significantly to patient safety, preventing and treating disease, supporting people to manage their condition confidently, as well as offering excellent value for money to the NHS.
The accessibility of pharmacies is also a key advantage for citizens as well as NHS services. In Wales, there are over 700 community pharmacies and over 2,200 registered pharmacists. Ninety-nine per cent of the population live within 20 minutes’ journey time to a pharmacy and staffed by highly-trained professionals. Pharmacists are the healthcare experts in medicines and spend four years at university before undertaking a year’s pre-registration training. Pharmacy is of crucial importance to healthcare and to patients.
- Episodes of harm, due to prescribing errors and poor medication administration, continue to be a feature of NHS Wales and yet pharmacists are not being placed at the forefront of patient care and fully integrated into prescribing decision making.
- Chronic conditions are recognised as one of the greatest challenges to NHS Wales and while almost all chronic conditions are managed by medicines, the skills of pharmacists are not being consistently utilised in models of chronic conditions care.
- Wales is facing a range of public health problems, such as obesity and an increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections, and yet the pharmacy profession, which is accessible in local communities, is not being pulled into formal services to offer screening, support and patient education.
- The pharmacy profession has taken steps to up-skill itself to meet the future demands of patients in Wales and yet their skills are not being fully integrated into core health services.
- Around 60 million prescriptions are dispensed each year in Wales at a cost of around £700million or around 18% of the entire NHS Wales budget and yet the skills of pharmacists are not fully harnessed into core models of care, ensuring evidence based prescribing and effective medicine management.
- The creation of integrated health care organisations in NHS in Wales must be utilised to develop new models of care with community, at the care interface and within a formal hospital setting. National enhanced services must be supported for implementation through locality based services.
- Establishing clinical pharmacy teams in all health localities and making better use of the broad range of skills available across the pharmacy profession
- Increasing the speed of integration of the pharmacy profession into models of care for chronic conditions
- Ensuring appropriate investment in pharmacy led health interventions
- Harnessing the skills of the pharmacy profession in improving health literacy
Action will be taken to influence policy makers from the main four political parties in Wales. This will be achieved through a series of individual meetings with AMs responsible for leading on party policy.
Action will be taken to encourage LPFs and individual pharmacists across Wales to engage with their local candidates in the National Assembly for Wales and to promote the key messages contained within the manifesto.