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Wales to roll out EPS to some pharmacies next summer

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Wales to roll out EPS to some pharmacies next summer

“A small number” of pharmacies and GP surgeries in Wales will begin using the Electronic Prescription Service in summer 2023, the Welsh Government has said.

In a progress update last week on the Government’s digital medicines transformation portfolio (DMTP), minister for health and social services Eluned Morgan said Welsh officials are currently in discussion with NHS Digital in England about the adoption in Wales of the EPS system used to transfer prescriptions between GPs and pharmacies in England.

“A rollout to a small number of GPs and pharmacies will be started during summer 2023 and then it will be rolled out more widely,” said Ms Morgan, adding that after the initial trial the Government will seek to implement EPS “at pace across all GPs and pharmacies”. 

She said the DMTP programme team are working with suppliers and primary care representatives to deliver this, and will focus in particular on the requirements for non-medical primary care prescribers.

The health service is also looking at how to make EPS accessible to dentists, optometrists and other primary care prescribers who don’t use NHS Wales IT platforms at present.

Additional work is being done to support electronic prescribing in secondary care, including the electronic transfer of prescription information to primary care settings after a patient is discharged from hospital, and from outpatients to community pharmacies.

Preliminary work has also begun on the Medicines Repository, a central holding system for medicines information “to enable more seamless transfer of information between primary and secondary care settings as well as health boards, in real time”. 

The programme team will assess potential technologies this summer before building a final version of the repository.

Ms Morgan said: “The full, complex rollout of the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio is expected to take between three to five years. 

“Teams across the NHS are working hard to deliver this transformational change to improve the way that medications information is handled across Wales.”

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