Jane Hutt AM visited Evans Pharmacy in Barry on 16th January to promote the work done by community pharmacies across Wales. As part of her visit Jane received her winter flu vaccination, and is encouraging people to get theirs. Jane said:
“Winter brings significant pressures for the NHS, but flu vaccinations are one example of the good work pharmacies can do. The flu can be particularly severe for those aged over 65, children, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems. A vaccination can be really important and I would encourage people to go to a pharmacist and get theirs done. It’s still not too late to do that.”
The visit comes as the UK Government announced proposals to cut the funding available to community pharmacies in England. There is a planned 4% reduction in 2016-17, and over 7% in 2017-18. In contrast, the Welsh Government has re-stated its commitment to the community pharmacy sector, with £20million investment to support and enhance pharmacy services in Wales.
Jane also said:
“The investment by the Welsh Government shows the drastic UK Government cuts are a choice they don’t have to make. Our highly trained pharmacists can also do so much more to offer treatments to take pressure off GPs and I’m delighted the Labour Welsh Government sees this potential and will be investing heavily in protecting and enhancing our community pharmacy service in Wales.”
Photo shows Jane Hutt AM with pharmacist Andy Harries.