Vaughan Gething (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Welsh government has announced an additional £3.5m cash injection for community pharmacy to cover its Covid costs.

With the latest funding pledge, community pharmacies have now been owed a total of £9.1m after being allocated £5.6m in December 2020.

“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,” Vaughan Gething, Welsh minister for health and social services said in a written statement on Tuesday (March 16).

The minister has 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,” he said.

He further clarified that an additional £3.5m cash will be provided to community pharmacy contractors who meet the Community Pharmacy Wales’ 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,” the minister added.

Gething said that the he wanted to see community pharmacies’ involvement in Covid vaccination programme ‘increasing over the next few weeks’.

CCA welcomes additional funding

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has welcomed the latest move that allowed additional Covid-19 funding for community pharmacy in Wales. The CCA has also urged the concerned to replicate it in England also.

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA, said: “This welcome news shows that the Welsh government clearly recognises the amazing work of community pharmacies during the pandemic. We renew our call on the government and the NHS in England to now do the same.

“They must reimburse pharmacies for the additional costs they have incurred by remaining open to provide NHS care and services throughout the crisis. These costs have been largely covered in both Wales and Scotland: we now need the same support for community pharmacy teams in England.”

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