A further £12.5 million has been made available to help the NHS recovery, alleviate waiting times and reduce “extremely challenging” winter pressures, the Welsh Government has said.

Health minister Eluned Morgan said the extra money will be spent on supporting people out of hospitals and into independent living, and pharmacies so they can help more people stay well without needing to see a GP.

Around £10 million of the pot will be distributed across the country’s 22 local authorities to buy equipment such as flow mattresses, patient turning systems, stair lifts, hoists and telecare equipment for people’s homes – allowing individuals to be discharged more quickly and freeing up hospital beds, it was revealed.

Pharmacies will get £2.5 million to improve access to treatment and advice for a range of common ailments, reducing pressures on GPs and other NHS services.

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Baroness Morgan said: “The pressures on the health and social care system remains extremely challenging. We all need to work together to support our health and social care services and help us to help you this winter.

“Simple things like visiting local pharmacies or minor injuries units for advice on minor health concerns, checking symptoms online using the NHS 111 Wales website or getting a Covid vaccine can make a high difference to our NHS and help people look after their health this winter.

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“The funding announced today will help tackle the hospital and work force pressures within community services and social care by avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and supporting people who currently cannot be discharged from hospitals due to insufficient care capacity return home.”

Pharmacies in Wales can currently offer advice and treatment for 26 agreed conditions including indigestion, chickenpox, acne, athletes foot, backache, diarrhoea and mouth ulcers.

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