The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund (CPSIF), set up to support the delivery of an EPS in Wales, has made three further grant awards to digital community pharmacy system suppliers, bringing the total number of organisations who have benefitted to five.
Egton Medical Information Services (EMIS), Camascope and Clanwilliam are the latest companies who have been awarded grants and can now begin to develop their systems.
They join PharmacyX and TITAN PMR who were awarded grants in the first round of funding.
The grants will help suppliers to develop their systems to use an electronic prescription service and receive prescriptions digitally instead of on paper.
It will also support the suppliers to introduce innovative changes to their systems that will result in paperless dispensing and integration with the new NHS Wales app when it is launched.
Professor Hamish Laing, Senior Responsible Officer for Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, said:
“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. We look forward to receiving applications from more suppliers in the next funding round so that we can accelerate the developments in community pharmacies right across Wales.”
The introduction of an EPS in primary care in Wales will make the process of prescribing and dispensing medicines 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.
The Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund is available to suppliers of digital community pharmacy systems in Wales. The next deadline for applications is October 5, 2023. The fund remains open for applications until October 2024, although the organisers reserve the right to close it early should all funding be assigned.
Led by Life Sciences Hub Wales, in partnership with the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, on behalf of Welsh Government, the Fund offers three tiers to bid across:
Tier One: 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. This tier must be completed successfully before suppliers can apply for tiers two and three funding.
Tier Two: To allow for paperless processes in community pharmacies (notwithstanding the right of a patient to request a paper prescription if they wish).
Tier Three: 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.
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. 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, with up to 100% of this sum available for evidenced revenue costs for work related to the requirements of that tier. Successful applicants will receive up to £111,562.50 to develop their systems so pharmacies in Wales can use EPS.
Cari-Anne Quinn, Chief Executive Officer, Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:
“This funding is a substantial milestone in the ongoing effort to modernise digital pharmacy systems in Wales. It's encouraging to see the allocation of additional grants as the programme gains momentum. Prioritising the development of the most effective solutions is crucial for the success of this transformation, and we extend a warm welcome to all suppliers who can contribute to our ambitious yet essential mission of establishing an electronic prescription service in Wales."
Applicants should ensure their plans meet the eligibility criteria and scope outlined in the published guidance document, available on the Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund page.