A new health minister has been welcomed by pharmacy organisations in Wales, as Mark Drakeford reveals a new team of ministers following his reinstatement as first minister.
Eluned Morgan is to replace Vaughan Gething as minister for health and social services following his five-year stint in the role.
After previously working as minister for Welsh language and mental health, Ms Morgan’s new role will have a specific focus on NHS recovery and the pandemic response.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wales (RPSW) told the Pharmacist they welcome the new minister and are very eager to work ‘closely’ with her as she ‘settles into the new role’.
‘Eluned is well known to be a supporter of pharmacy services in Wales. We welcome her interest from her previous Ministerial roles in the importance of maximising patient benefit from the community pharmacy network, particularly in rural areas,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The importance of providing opportunities for patients to engage with health care, including pharmacy services through the medium of Welsh or English has also been a welcomed focus.’
They added: ‘As the Welsh Government focuses on NHS recovery and the pandemic response we will be continuing to call for the key issues as outlined in our Manifesto for Pharmacy to ensure pharmacy services can be appropriately shaped to meet demand now and in the future.
‘Ensuring investment in digital technology to modernise and improve pharmacy services will also be important in this new parliamentary term.
`Electronic transmission of prescriptions and interoperability of IT systems across primary care, the community and hospital delivered services is desperately needed to ensure access to real time patient data, essential for making accurate and safe decisions about medicines.’ they said.
‘We are very pleased to see that the Welsh Labour manifesto committed to introducing electronic prescribing in Wales and we look forward to working with the Minister on this issue.’
Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW), who publicly welcomed the new minister on Twitter, also called on the next Welsh Government to develop a system for electronic prescriptions.
In the body’s manifesto — published before the elections — it highlighted several changes it wants to see implemented for community pharmacy in Wales over the next five years.
Introducing electronic prescriptions across Wales should be a ‘key priority’, CPW said in its own manifesto, to ‘facilitate improvements in the existing Repeat Dispensing service by transferring the management of repeat prescriptions from general practice to community pharmacy.’