Eight community pharmacy suppliers awarded grants to develop electronic prescription service in Wales

Eight community pharmacy system suppliers have been awarded funding to develop an electronic prescription service (EPS) in Wales, with the grants intended to support suppliers to make the necessary changes to facilitate the delivery of prescriptions electronically, and to integrate with the new NHS Wales App when it is launched.

Grants have been provided by the Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund, set up by the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio in partnership with the Life Sciences Hub Wales. The development of EPS will form a part of the wider Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio and is expected to make prescribing and dispensing medicines “safer, easier and more efficient for patients and health care professionals”.

Pilot sites for EPS have been up and running since November, and the service will be rolled out across Wales from early 2024, with funding available to suppliers of digital community pharmacy services in Wales until October of 2024.

Suppliers to receive the grants so far include Positive Solutions, Apotec and Cegedim Healthcare Solutions, who join Pharmacy X, Titan PMR (Invatech), Egton Medical (EMIS), Camascope and Clanwilliam, who were awarded grants in the first two rounds of funding applications

Funding is open to applicants from UK-registered businesses who currently supply, or have the potential to supply, digital services to pharmacies in Wales. Successful applicants receive up to £111,562.50 to develop their systems, based on their abilities to evidence revenue costs associated with work relating to three tiers: developing and implementing changes to enable EPS through an assured patient medication record; allowing for paperless processes in community pharmacies; and enabling push notifications to the NHS Wales App to notify users when medicines are ready for collection and pharmacy opening hours.

Jenny Pugh Jones, senior responsible owner of the Primary Care Electronic Prescription Service programme within DMTP, said: “The latest awards mean that all pharmacy suppliers in Wales have been successful in their applications for funding to make the innovations required to roll out EPS across Wales or have made a firm commitment to develop their systems. This is fantastic progress and shows a real desire and commitment from suppliers to develop their systems to be EPS ready as soon as possible.”

More information on how to apply can be found here.

We took a deep dive into news, use cases, educational opportunities and research in community pharmacy and dentistry back in August, considering findings from the Fuller stocktake and recent progress on the GP Access Recovery Plan.

Also in pharmacy, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced that Pharmacy First, a service including seven new clinical pathways to replace the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS), will be launched on January 31 2024 subject to appropriate digital systems being in place.