The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio and Life Sciences Hub Wales are launching a new fund today (April 3, 2023) to help the suppliers of digital community pharmacy systems in Wales deliver an electronic prescription service (EPS).

Mobile phone and medicine illustration

The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio and Life Sciences Hub Wales are launching a new fund today (April 3, 2023) to help the suppliers of digital community pharmacy systems in Wales deliver an electronic prescription service (EPS). 

The introduction of an EPS in primary care in Wales will make the prescribing and dispensing process safer, easier and more efficient for patients and health care professionals. The work is a key part of the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio which is hosted by Digital Health and Care Wales. It will enable prescribers (such as GPs) to send prescriptions electronically to a dispenser (such as a community pharmacy) of the patient’s choice. 

To accelerate the delivery of this exciting service improvement, a Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund has been established to provide grants. These will help suppliers of community pharmacy systems to develop their systems to use EPS and receive the electronic transfer of prescriptions. The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund also lets applicants submit bids for financial support to deliver innovations that will result in paperless dispensing and integration with the new NHS Wales app. 

The fund will be delivered by Life Sciences Hub Wales in partnership with the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio on behalf of Welsh Government. 

Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio Senior Responsible Owner Hamish Laing said:

“We are excited to be launching this fund which provides a crucial opportunity to support not just the technical changes needed to implement EPS in Wales but also improvements that will help modernise pharmacy practice and provide a much better service and experience for patients.” 

The fund is open from today (April 3, 2023) until October 2024, and community pharmacy system suppliers are invited to bid across the following three tiers: 

  1. To develop and implement the changes necessary to community pharmacy systems to enable EPS in a Wales-based pharmacy through an assured patient medication record (PMR). This tier must be completed successfully before suppliers can apply for tiers two and three funding. 
  2. To be able to send push notifications to the NHS Wales App to advise that a person's medicines have been prepared and are ready for collection, along with the location of the pharmacy and its opening hours. This will empower patients to become more aware and in charge of their medications. 
  3. To help make community pharmacy dispensing paperless (notwithstanding the right of a patient to request a paper prescription if they wish). 

The fund is open to applications from UK-registered businesses who currently supply, or have the potential to supply, pharmacies in Wales with digital services and just over £110,000 is available per supplier to bid for in total, across all three tiers. Only activities associated with the aims explained in each tier are within the scope of the fund. Each tier is for a predefined maximum sum available, for up to 100% of evidenced revenue costs for work related to the requirements of that tier.   

Life Sciences Hub Wales’ Chief Executive Cari-Anne Quinn said:

“Digitisation of the Welsh prescription service will deliver a safer and more efficient system benefiting patients whilst freeing up vital time and resource for healthcare professionals. We’re proud to be supporting this transformation by managing the fund and award process and look forward to seeing improved service delivery across the nation.” 

The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, which includes the development and roll out of the Primary Care EPS, is a Programme for Government commitment of the Welsh Government and is supported by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan.  

EPS will bring many benefits for patients and healthcare professionals including the following:  

  • Patients will no longer have to attend a surgery just to collect a prescription form. Instead they will be able say to their GP which pharmacy they would like to collect their medicines from and the prescription will be sent there electronically. 
  • GPs and other prescribers will be able to sign prescriptions digitally which will be more efficient, freeing up time for patient care 
  • Dispensers will have the opportunity, through changing practice to reduce the use of paper and provide a more efficient service to patients 
  • It will enable the safer management of repeat medication and greater data security. 
  • When fully rolled out, EPS will avoid over 40 million paper prescription forms being printed in Wales every year. 

The innovation fund is provided by the Welsh Government’s Digital Priorities Investment Fund and is an important step forward to help community pharmacies in Wales improve their use of digital technology. 

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, Andrew Evans has welcomed the launch of the fund. He said:

“As we make progress to digitise prescriptions in primary care in Wales, we want to encourage community pharmacies to better utilise digital technology in their day-to-day work to create opportunities to work more efficiently, improving patients’ experience.  The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund will help pharmacies and their IT systems to operate in a truly paperless way, able to digitally receive, process and track prescriptions, and notify patients when their prescription is ready, building on capability within the NHS Wales App. The fund is major step forward for community pharmacies in Wales and will help them realise the significant opportunities presented by digital ways of working.” 

Community pharmacy system suppliers can find out more about the fund, eligibility criteria and how to apply by visiting Life Sciences Hub Wales’ website or contacting