Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Camarthen East and Dinefwr and Adam Price, Plaid Cymru’s candidate for the same constituency have been finding out how constituents are benefiting from the expertise of pharmacists during a visit to a local pharmacy. On April 1 they were welcomed to the Margaret Street Pharmacy in Ammanford by pharmacists, Spencer Lawrence along with Richard Evans, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh Pharmacy Board and Elen Jones, Policy and Practice Lead for the Society.
During the visit the benefits to improving access to clinical care through community pharmacy were highlighted. It was explained how pharmacists regularly advise and help people to stop smoking, to understand more about their medicines through a medicines use review, and can now treat and prescribe medicines for minor ailments such as earache.
Jonathan Edwards commented “This was a wonderful opportunity for me to understand more about the pharmacy profession. Pharmacists undoubtedly play a vital role in our communities in advising people about the best medicines to treat their symptoms. I’m also pleased that they are now playing an increasingly important role in helping people avoid illnesses in the first place by advising patients on healthy lifestyle choices. The smoking cessation service is a prime example of this role”.
Adam Price added “I was delighted to accept the invitation to visit Margaret Street Pharmacy. We are all aware of the increasing workload pressures on our GP and A&E services in Wales. As the ‘front door’ to the health service on the high street, the next Welsh Government must ensure that we make the most use of the skills of our community pharmacists. They are well placed to deal with common ailments such as colds, hay fever and conjunctivitis as well as helping patients manage chronic conditions such as asthmas and diabetes”.
Richard Evans and Elen Jones also advised of the potential for community pharmacies to provide more services in Wales. The potential role of pharmacists in managing the medication aspects of chronic conditions was also emphasised, as outlined in the RPS Policy Vision for Wales. It was explained that if a chronic medication service was introduced in Wales, an effective structure would be put in place to help to strengthen working relationships and clinical practice between pharmacists and their GP colleagues. Using professional skills in this way will help to speed up access for patients to healthcare services, develop better synergy between GPs and pharmacists and ensure that the time and skills of health professionals are used appropriately.
Richard Evans stated “It was a pleasure to meet with Jonathan and Adam and it was heartening to see that they appreciated the important role that pharmacists currently play in our communities. I was also delighted to hear that they were supportive for an increased role for pharmacists in managing patients’ chronic conditions”.
This is one of a series of pharmacy visits that are taking place with electoral candidates and elected representatives ahead of next month’s Assembly elections.