A ‘safe’ and ‘efficient’ volunteer prescription delivery scheme has been introduced to community pharmacies in Wales to support those shielding or self-isolating, the government has announced.

The new scheme - announced yesterday by The Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales, Vaughan Gething - gives pharmacy teams the option to track volunteers via GPS while they deliver medications, to ensure that each delivery is made to the right household.

The GPS tracking service has been provided by both the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and Pro Delivery Manager (PDM); which was originally developed as a pharmacy delivery tracking app for Android and iOS.

So far, the PDM software has been installed in over 650 community pharmacies and in 18 dispensing doctor practices who provide a delivery service in Wales.

Raj Aggarwal, NPA board member for Wales, said PDM system was a 'tried-and-tested product’.

He also added: ‘It’s good to see Wales leading the way. We’re confident that many more pharmacies in other parts of the UK will take advantage of PDM, to make their deliveries safe, auditable and efficient.’

The new service also matches volunteers up with community pharmacies that need extra help to deliver medicines to shielded patients who cannot leave the house and who have no support network to help them.

The volunteers have been sourced by the Welsh Government and British Red Cross and include individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, optometry practices and employees of the Welsh Government.

Community pharmacies in Wales can also use the Royal Mail’s ‘Tracked 24’ delivery service, where postal workers will collect prescriptions from pharmacies and deliver them the following day. Pharmacy teams will be able to track these deliveries too, by using the Royal Mail’s ‘Click and Drop’ system.

Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said he was ‘pleased to see how the skills and expertise of organisations from the private, public and third sector have been brought together to make this a success.’

A spokesperson from Community Pharmacy Wales said that it ‘welcomes all initiatives to provide delivery medicines to shielded patients during the current crisis’.