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First electronic prescription service launches in Wales

Patients in Rhyl are the first in Wales to benefit from a new electronic prescription service (EPS), which allows GPs to send prescriptions securely online to the patient’s choice of community pharmacy, without the need for a paper form.

The new service, officially launched today, makes the prescribing and dispensing of medicines for patients and healthcare professionals easier, safer and more efficient.

For the first time Welsh GPs no longer need to physically print and then sign a green paper prescription form to hand to the patient or to be collected by the pharmacy from the surgery. Instead, they sign electronically and immediately send the prescription directly from the computer in the surgery to the IT system used in the patient’s pharmacy.

The launch of electronic prescriptions in Wales is the result of 20 months of work by the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio (DMTP), which has turned Welsh Government’s commitment to digitalise prescriptions into a reality.

The service brings benefits to patients, GP surgeries, pharmacies and the environment, saving up to 40 million paper forms from being printed each year.

Prescriptions can be tracked from the surgery to the pharmacy and patients will no longer need to visit the surgery to pick up a repeat prescription form as it will be sent directly to their chosen pharmacy. It will also simplify the reimbursement process for community pharmacies.

The new service is currently in a live testing phase, ahead of a phased roll out across Wales as quickly and safely as possible from January 2024.

Visiting the live test sites at Rhyl’s Lakeside Medical Centre and Wellington Road Pharmacy, Health and Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan MS said:

“We are at the start of an exciting digital transformation that will completely change the way prescriptions are managed in primary care, streamlining a process that has not changed in decades.

“Electronic prescriptions will make a huge difference to the NHS and patients and this is a major milestone in our journey towards digitising every prescription in every healthcare setting across Wales.

“I would like to thank the staff at both the GP practice and pharmacy for their support as the first adopters of the Electronic Prescription Service technology and I hope we can explore how other primary care settings can use digital prescribing.”

Shafraz Mohideen, Lakeside Medical Centre Operations Manager, said:

“We can already see that this is a game changer. Our GPs will be able to prescribe medicines faster and more securely, giving them more time for patients. It will also help patients as they won't need to visit the surgery to collect repeat prescriptions.”

Charlotte Smith, Lead Pharmacist at Wellington Road Pharmacy, said:

“This is an exciting development and one we have been waiting for. It will make it so much easier for our patients and our staff as we can track the prescriptions with the new system and check their status online.”

Barbara McEvoy, a patient at Lakeside Medical Centre who will be using EPS, said, “I couldn't believe how easy it is. I told the pharmacy I wanted to use e-prescriptions and they did the rest. I didn't need to use a computer or fill in an online form.  This is going to be really useful and will definitely help patients.”

Moving from paper to digital is a complex process, which relies on GP and community pharmacy IT suppliers building e-prescribing functionality into their systems to be able to send and receive electronic prescriptions securely.

To support this development, DMTP in partnership with Life Sciences Hub Wales and on behalf of Welsh Government, established the Community Pharmacy System Innovation Fund to provide grants to suppliers of community pharmacy systems in Wales.  

It has also worked collaboratively with key partners including NHS England, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, GPs, pharmacies and industry suppliers.

Professor Hamish Laing, Senior Responsible Owner for the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, said:

“Today is a big achievement and a key milestone on our journey to digitalise prescriptions and medicines management in Wales. We have seen a real desire and commitment from GPs and community pharmacists to adopt this and from the software companies involved to make the necessary changes to their systems as soon as possible.

“The support from colleagues in NHS England and NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has also made a major contribution, incorporating digital reimbursement to pharmacies and putting security measures in place.  Our collaborative approach, placing people at the centre and working closely with clinicians, patients and industry suppliers ensures we are delivering a service that meets the needs of all who use it.”

Electronic prescribing is part of a wider commitment by Welsh Government to introduce digital medicines and e-prescribing in all hospitals and primary care in Wales, through the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, hosted by Digital Health and Care Wales.


Further Information

Please contact Alison Watkins, Head of Communications and Engagement, Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio at:

Telephone: 07854 386054


Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio

The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio (DMTP) aims to make the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines, easier, safer, more efficient and effective for patients and professionals through digital.

It brings together the programmes and projects that will deliver the benefits of a fully digital prescribing approach in all care settings in Wales. The Portfolio coordinates four areas of work, all of which have connections with each other: Primary Care Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), Secondary Care electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (ePMA), Patient Access (through the NHS Wales app) and a Shared Medicines Record.

Find out more about Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio