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Award nomination for Rhondda pharmacists

Pharmacists in Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board’s Rhondda Primary Care Cluster are delighted after being shortlisted for a national award.

The Rhondda Pharmacist Cluster Forum has been shortlisted for the Primary Care Partnership award at the Chemist and Druggist awards, which will take place later this year. The forum, which consists of representatives from 27 community pharmacy sites from across the Rhondda was established last year to create formal links with other primary care teams in the area.

Aled Roberts, Pharmacist at Well Pharmacy in Gilfach Goch was one of the three local pharmacists who set up the forum. He said:

“Bringing so many community pharmacists together with such varied experience creates an excellent learning environment for all. The benefits to patients were seen immediately and will only grow going forward. Patients benefit from a much more engaged pharmacy work force and a pharmacy workforce aligned a lot more with what the wider cluster is doing.

“The Chemist and Druggist awards are the ‘Oscars’ of the pharmacy world and we’re really excited to be nominated.”

The group was co-founded alongside pharmacists Dai Williams and Gareth Hughes.

Gareth, who works as Professional Services Manager at Sheppards Pharmacy in Aberdare added: “The cross-organisational peer support the forum brings can only lead to better outcomes – supporting and empowering pharmacists to be more engaged and believe in the potential of community pharmacy with shared aims of improving efficiency, maximising service delivery and increasing patient safety.”

Since implementing the forum a year ago, pharmacists have been able to share knowledge that is now allowing them to drive health and wellbeing priorities. Pharmacists now know much more about the mental health and wellbeing services available in the area and can refer patients directly to those services without the involvement of a GP.

Aled added: “Awareness of the local health needs and primary care cluster priorities amongst pharmacists has allowed renewed focus for daily practice. Best practice has been shared amongst pharmacists at the forum, allowing more consistent delivery across the local area.”

The forum has also been able to work closely with the wider primary care cluster team to deliver priorities and develop careers of pharmacists in the area with two local pharmacists becoming independent prescribers.

Dr Bik Choudhary, GP and Cluster Lead for the Rhondda Primary Care Cluster said the forum brings benefits for everyone in primary care:

“The Rhondda Primary Care Cluster recognise the value of working collaboratively with our colleagues in community pharmacy. We are fortunate that the Rhondda cluster has dynamic and forward thinking pharmacy leaders who recognised the need to set up the community pharmacy forum so that communications and collaboration with the wider Primary Care Cluster could be facilitated. They also recognise the need to keep community pharmacy relevant and adaptable to service the changing health and wellbeing needs of the Rhondda population.”

The Chemist and Druggist awards recognise the outstanding accomplishments of those playing a critical role in the community pharmacy sector. The awards are due to take place in December 2020.

https://www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk/awards/finalists