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Cynon Valley trial service in 13 local pharmacies considered for national roll out

Choose Pharmacy is the name of an NHS Wales service that has been delivered free of charge to patients in 13 pharmacies in Cynon Valley since October 2013. An independent evaluation now enables the service to be considered for a full national roll out. 

Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) welcomes the publication today (Thursday 30th July 2015) of the Evaluation of the Common Ailments service that has been running as a Pathfinder scheme in Cynon Valley and Gwynedd since October 2013 prior to potential national roll-out. The Evaluation finds that the impact and economic evaluation suggests a positive return on investment in Choose Pharmacy over the next five years based on the performance of the service in the two pathfinders”

Local community pharmacies in Aberdare, Abercynon, Abercwmboi, Hirwaun, Mountain Ash, Aberaman and Penrhiwceiber are at the forefront of this NHS Wales service which takes some significant strain off the GP surgeries who work with these pharmacies as people can go to the pharmacies and get professional healthcare advise and treatment free of charge without an appointment, instead of waiting for an appointment in the surgery.

Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales said “CPW supports the introduction of a Welsh national common ailments service in community pharmacies and welcomes this important Evaluation of the initial Pathfinder stage of such a service. The Evaluation finds that the Pathfinder service has been most effective where GP surgeries and pharmacies work closely together and where the service has been best understood by NHS Wales stakeholders. CPW will now be considering this Report and its Recommendations in detail and discussing the potential for a national roll out with Welsh Government Ministers and officials. We only want to support a community pharmacy based national common ailments service that we are convinced makes the best use of pharmacy skills and expertise and of NHS Wales money, and also if some of the glitches in the Pathfinder stage can be ironed out.“

Mr Goodway added “We believe that an appropriate NHS community pharmacy common ailments service will go a long way to assisting in reducing pressure on GP surgeries and meeting the Welsh Government’s policy priorities in its Primary Care Plan and Prudent Healthcare initiative, such as Making Every Contact Count. It can also be particularly helpful in so-called ‘under doctored’ areas.” 

The Pathfinder service is branded CHOOSE PHARMACY and covers free consultation and treatments under NHS Wales for a range of common self-limiting conditions such as acne, athletes foot, back pain, chicken pox, cold sores colic, conjunctivitis, constipation, dermatitis, diarrhoea, dry eyes, eye infections, hay fever, head lice, indigestion, ingrowing toenails, mouth ulcers,  nappy rash, oral thrush, piles, scabies, sore throat, teething, threadworms, vaginal thrush, verruca.

In Wales an estimated 5 million consultations every year concern minor ailments

that could be dealt with at a pharmacy.  In addition to the 2 Pathfinder areas an NHS common ailments service has been running in Torfaen area since 2006. The introduction of a community pharmacy national common ailments service is a manifesto commitment of Welsh Labour.

The 13 pharmacies in Cynon Valley that deliver this NHS Wales are:

Boots The Chemist, 11 Commercial Street, Aberdare

Co-operative Pharmacy, 37 High Street, Hirwaun

Co-operative Pharmacy, New Medical Centre, Hirwaun

Hope Pharmacy, 59 Oxford Street, Mountain Ash

Lloyds Pharmacy, 18B-19B Oxford Street, Mountain Ash

Sheppards Pharmacy, 217-218 Cardiff Road, Aberaman

Sheppards Pharmacy, 22-25 Whitcombe Street, Aberdare

Sheppards Pharmacy, 2-3 Constitutional Buildings, Canon Street, Aberdare

Sheppards Pharmacy, 4 Mill Street, Trecynon, Aberdare

Sheppards Pharmacy, 5-7 John Street, Abercwmboi

Sheppards Pharmacy, Penrhiwceiber Road, Penrhiwceiber

Sheppards Pharmacy, 29-31 Margaret Street, Abercynon