Life Sciences Hub Wales

The next deadline for pharmacy system suppliers to apply for grants to help develop electronic prescription service (EPS) technology for use in Wales is fast approaching on July 4, 2024. 

Electronic prescription

The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund (CPSIF), administered by Life Sciences Hub Wales in collaboration with Digital Medicines (hosted by Digital Health and Care Wales) on behalf of Welsh Government, was set up to support eligible Community Pharmacy System Suppliers in becoming EPS compliant. 

It will also support the suppliers to introduce innovative changes to their systems that will result in a paperless dispensing process and push notifications to the new NHS Wales app.

Key deadlines: 

  • Application deadline: 4th July 2024. 
  • Last application deadline: 3rd October 2024.
  • Fund closes: 31st March 2025. 
  • All claims must be submitted by 31st January 2025.

All claims can only be submitted once the success criteria for each tier (detailed in the Guidance Document) have been met.  

Suppliers are encouraged to apply to the fund and engage in assurance activities as early as possible. After an application deadline, it takes around one month for the panel to send the funding letter, which allows a supplier to start funded work. If a supplier applies in October, funded work won’t begin until November, leaving just over two months to complete the work, obtain assurance and submit the claim to Life Sciences Hub Wales. 

The assurance process length varies from system to system, although below represents an example guideline:

  • Tier 1: Minimum three to four months depending on prompt submission of assurance documentation and testing.
  • Tier 2: Evaluated case-by-case, depending on the magnitude of change.
  • Tier 3: Two to three months depending on prompt submission of onboarding assurance documentation and testing. 

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

“The CPSIF fund is pivotal in driving forward the digital transformation of healthcare in Wales. We’ve seen seven pharmacies in Wales awarded funding so far, significantly improving the efficiency and safety for both healthcare professionals and patients. We encourage all eligible businesses to apply early and be part of this innovative journey.” 

The introduction of EPS across Wales is a key part of the Digital Medicines transformation programme and will make the process of prescribing and dispensing medicines safer, easier and more efficient for patients and health care professionals. 

Jenny Pugh Jones, lead for the Primary Care EPS, said:

“The Fund has been extremely successful and resulted in excellent engagement from suppliers. We would encourage all remaining suppliers to apply promptly to the fund should they wish to take part and to get in touch with the teams dealing with assurance and testing, to ensure that claims can be submitted in a timely manner.”

EPS was launched in Rhyl, Denbighshire, in November 2023 and at further locations in north and south Wales this year. Phased national roll out of this new digital service begins this summer. 

For more information, and how to apply the fund please visit the Community Pharmacy Innovation Fund