Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
On 23 December 2020 I announced I would be providing additional funding of £5.6m to community pharmacy contractors to meet additional costs incurred during the COVIC-19 pandemic.
This funding was able to be provided directly to contractors early in the new year, along with up to £0.6m to pharmacies’ service costs in delivering Government sourced seasonal influenza vaccines administered by pharmacies.
I also gave a guarantee that pharmacies engaged in the Primary Care COVID-19 Immunisation Scheme, service fees would be paid from additional funding. We have seen a successful pilot of vaccine delivery in north Wales and a number of other contractors being engaged. I want to see this involvement of community pharmacy increasing over the next few weeks. On 1 March the Chief Executive of the NHS wrote to Health Board Chief Executives advising them to put in place arrangements to contract with community pharmacies in their areas which are able to deliver a minimum of 100 appointments each week, managed through the health boards’ established booking systems.
I also agreed to the deferment of further repayments against the £55m advance payment until the 2021-22 financial year. I can confirm this has been actioned in order to support the cash flow situation for community pharmacies.
Finally, I confirmed that further discussions with CPW would be held, should resources become available before the end of the financial year.
I am, today, very pleased to confirm that a further £3.5m will be provided to community pharmacy contractors, meeting CPW’s formal proposal in full.
In total, this means new money of £9.1m will have been allocated this financial year in recognition of the vital role pharmacies played during the height of the pandemic in all our communities, the length and breadth of Wales.
I look forward to continuing to work with CPW and our contractors in building on their success and in developing their services further to support our communities as we emerge from these difficult times.