New Choose Pharmacy scheme to be rolled out across Wales

Pharmacists across Wales will provide new NHS services for people with minor illnesses, the deputy health minister, Vaughan Gething has announced.

The Choose Pharmacy service will see pharmacists take responsibility for managing a range of minor ailments. People will be able to see their pharmacist for free treatment instead of making an appointment to see their GP.

The scheme will help to free up GP time to deal with people with more complex needs – up to 18% of GPs’ workload and 8% of emergency department consultations are estimated to relate to minor ailments, such as coughs, colds, ear ache, hay fever, conjunctivitis and head lice.

Choose Pharmacy will also see pharmacists undertaking medication reviews when people are discharged from hospital and providing an emergency supply of prescribed medicines at evenings and weekends. These services will also help demand on both out-of-hours GPs and emergency departments.

Community pharmacies in Wales will be fully integrated with GPs and hospitals as part of a £750,000 investment from the Welsh Government’s Efficiency Through Technology Fund.

North Wales doctor says plans for pharmacists to access patients' records won't ease GP 'crisis'  

The Welsh Government says the move will 'free up' GPs' time but Dr Sara Bodey said most practices already have systems in place, the Daily Post reports.

Pharmacists will be able to access patients medical records in a bid to ease pressure on North Wales GPs.

The Welsh Government is introducing a scheme to encourage more people to go to a pharmacy with minor illnesses rather than surgeries and A&E departments.

Officials estimate up to 18% of GP work and 8% of A&E consultations in Wales deal with coughs, colds, ear ache, hay fever and head lice.

The £750,000 ‘Choose Pharmacy’ scheme will allow pharmacists to access a summary of GP notes with the patient’s consent.  

Health and care integration will not happen unless budgets are pooled

The desire to see integrated healthcare and social care services is broadly shared by care professionals, government bodies and special interest groups, David Roots, executive director of health and social care at Civica, writes for The Guardian.

But in England, successful integration is only found in local initiatives that focus on specific areas of care or patient groups.

These successes are driven by joint working between local authorities and health trusts, plus third-sector organisations, and are to be commended; not least because they have generally been achieved despite national funding mechanisms working against them.

How healthy am I? Government quiz ‘One You’ tells you exactly how to improve your lifestyle

A quiz has been created to evaluate how healthy you are as part of their campaign urging Britons to cut down on unhealthy food and exercise more, the Independent reports.

The One You campaign, ran by Public Health England (PHE) is the first to specifically target middle-aged Britons.

To find out how well you are and get some recommendations on how to improve your health, take the How Are You quiz.

The quiz asks about the type of foods you eat, how often you drink alcohol and whether you smoke.

NHS Trust gets £1.5m to take lead role

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been given a £1.15m funding boost to support work to take a national lead on radical new options for the future of local hospitals across the country, the Berwick Advertiser reports.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens announced in September that the trust was one of only three organisations selected to spearhead work to develop new ways of working known as ‘multihospital chains’.

The funding from the NHS’ £200m transformation fund will help the trust to spread its excellence across multiple geographies.

By creating Northumbria Foundation Group, the work will enable the trust to widen the support and services it provides to other organisations, building on the success of work already taking place.