A Welsh group of pharmacies claim that the industry can support the NHS in Wales far more than it is currently doing so, after a report from the Local Government Association (LGA) stated that the reduction in NHS funding in England will require local outlets to adapt their business model.
Dr Mo Nazemi, Managing Director of Evans Pharmacy, said:
“We agree with the LGA’s claims regarding what is happening in England and the need to diversify. Whilst it is not clear if those changes will affect us here in Wales, we have been working on diversifying our offering for the past couple of years.”
Pharmacies in England may be forced to drastically alter the way they serve the public or run the risk of facing closure due to a proposed £170M reduction in NHS funding. The proposals from the Department of Health’s consultation comprise plans to use clinical pharmacists in primary care settings such as GP practices; thus reducing funding to community pharmacies and placing their role within the health system at jeopardy.
Evans Pharmacy has 10 locations across Wales from Tenby, to Barry, to Abercarn, and Dr Nazemi is confident that they have the right balance when it comes to serving the local communities:
“In order to stay operative and safeguard our future, we had to vary our offering by including health services such as smoking cessation, diabetes screening, blood pressure checks and cholesterol tests; as well as your more traditional free prescription collection and delivery services.”
Dr Nazemi continued:
“However, it is my belief that the NHS is not using pharmacies to their full potential. The community pharmacy network is truly accessible and present in the heart of most communities. There are more and more budget restraints on the NHS and we, as a profession, are willing and able to do so much more for our patients. Welsh Government announced earlier this month that funding was available for pharmacies in Wales to finally get full access to Patient Health Records. This is key in allowing far more services to be made available via your local community pharmacy. This would be more accessible for the patient and cheaper for the NHS.”