Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
Today I am publishing the Welsh Government's response to an independent review of clinical pharmacy services at NHS hospitals in Wales.
As the provision of NHS care evolves, change is needed to ensure hospital pharmacy practice continues to be the catalyst for clinical developments and consistently maximises the unique contribution pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can make to improving healthcare and tackling the challenges the wider health and care system faces.
In June 2022, I agreed an independent review of clinical pharmacy services provided at NHS hospitals in Wales to ensure alignment with our national programmes, Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales, Six Goals for Urgent and Emergency Care, Transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists, and wider NHS strategy.
Led by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, it has involved more than 1,000 interactions with the hospital pharmacy workforce in NHS Wales, the UK and globally to identify how the clinical skills of hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, pharmacist prescribers and the wider pharmacy workforce can be used more effectively, not just within hospital settings but also in the community and in people’s own homes.
I would like to thank the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for its work in carrying out this review and everyone who contributed.
It concluded that across Wales, there are many good examples of pharmacy professionals making the contributions the NHS needs to support urgent and emergency care, planned care, and quality improvement. However, these are inconsistently delivered, not just between health boards, but often between hospitals within the same health board.
To address these concerns and to realise the opportunities they present, the review provides 36 recommendations covering a range of areas involving patient-centred care, integration, pharmacist prescribing, digital and technology, workforce development, leadership, and quality and governance.
We accept the review’s recommendations and want to see collaborative and co-ordinated action between organisations to achieve an innovative and progressive approach to the future delivery of pharmaceutical care within our hospitals across Wales.
Our response has categorised 60 actions across the following four themes, providing a blueprint to transforming hospital clinical pharmacy services to address and meet the ambitions set out in Pharmacy: Delivering a healthier Wales (rpharms.com):
- Enabling pharmacy professionals to practise in areas where they add most value;
- Developing hospital pharmacy teams to deliver outstanding clinical care;
- Strengthening quality, pharmacy leadership, and governance at all levels; and
- Realising the potential of digital, automation and other technological advances to transform how pharmaceutical care is provided.
The review’s findings have reinforced that clinical pharmacy services are an essential component of high-quality hospital care, helping to improve health outcomes and prevent avoidable harm. But as the nature of hospital care changes, so too must the provision of clinical pharmacy services to better meet the health needs of people all over Wales.