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Senedd election 2021: What do the party manifestos mean for pharmacy?

senedd election pharmacy

By Isabel Shaw
Reporter

26 Apr 2021

With the Welsh parliament elections looming, Covid-19 and the NHS continue to dominate the news and understandably, both topics have impacted all party manifestos. But what do the manifestos say about pharmacy and the areas that directly impact the sector itself?

The Pharmacist has provided a brief overview of everything you need to know about the three main political parties’ manifestos before 6 May.



Pharmacy

Welsh Labour: The current Government has pledged to continue to reform primary care by ‘bringing together GP services with pharmacy’.

Welsh Conservatives: The party said it will ‘extend the role of community pharmacies in delivering health care to the nation via a new contract which will include prescribing for common ailments, delivering immunisations and diagnostic tests, and medicine reviews’.

Plaid Cymru: No specific pledges.


Funding

Welsh Labour: The party said it will fund NHS services to recover from Covid-19 and provide the delayed treatments people are waiting for. It also said that it will ‘invest in a new generation of integrated health and social care centres across Wales’.

Welsh Conservatives: A guarantee to increase spending on the NHS and primary care each year, and a promise that staff will ‘receive the pay and rewards they deserve’.

Plaid Cymru: No specific pledges.



Workforce

Welsh Labour: The party has pledged to increase funding for training by 8% in 2021. Over the next five years, it will train 12,000 doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and psychologists. It will also continue to fund the NHS bursary to support all those training to be a nurse or allied health professional. The party also said it will ‘invest in a new generation of integrated health and social care centres across Wales.’

Welsh Conservatives: Plan to mobilise members of the public and former healthcare professionals to join their local NHS team, as part-time reservists, to support the health service during periods of high demand. The party also promises to deliver 1,200 more doctors, 3,000 more nurses and other professionals through its ‘Retain, recruit and train’ programme.

Plaid Cymru: Will provide an additional 6,000 healthcare professionals for Wales – 4,000 nurses, 1,000 doctors and 1,000 allied health professionals.



Vaccinations and public health

Welsh Labour: ‘We will introduce an all-Wales framework to roll out social prescribing to tackle isolation,’ the manifesto says.

Welsh Conservatives: The party says it will establish a national vaccination reminder system and an NHS Gambling Addiction Service for Wales.

Plaid Cymru: Have promised to increase access to sexual health services, information, testing, and early treatment. It will also implement social prescribing – such as gardening, walking and swimming – which will be encouraged and expanded to include participation in community activity.



Prescriptions

Welsh Labour: Will keep prescriptions free in Wales.

Welsh Conservatives: Also promise to maintain free prescriptions – and plans to roll out electronic prescriptions.

Plaid Cymru: No specific pledges.



Medicine prices

Welsh Labour: No specific pledges.

Welsh Conservatives: No specific pledges.

Plaid Cymru: No specific pledges.



Covid-19

Welsh Labour: Have pledged to continue to provide free PPE for health and care staff for as long as is needed to deal with the pandemic. It will also continue to fund the publicly-run NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.

Welsh Conservatives: Say it will ‘ensure that Wales is prepared in the event of another pandemic’. It will also create a Welsh Pandemic Network for the production of PPE and hand sanitiser to support the Welsh NHS and care homes. The party also say it will appoint a dedicated Covid-19 Recovery Minister in the Welsh Government to oversee all areas of recovery from the pandemic.

Plaid Cymru: Say it will ensure we have ‘pandemic preparedness’ in terms of ‘appropriate PPE stockpiling and sourcing arrangements along with communication protocols and other measures deemed necessary by healthcare professionals’. It will also ensure that health and social staff have ‘access to the counselling and other support services they need.’

The party have promised that NHS Wales will be resourced with everything it needs and that it will put in place the ‘effective scrutiny required to ensure effective statistical reporting, vaccination and testing and trace programmes for the future.’


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