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Key milestone reached - delivering an Electronic Prescription Service in Wales

10th August 2023

An exciting milestone has been reached in the plan to change the way prescriptions are issued in primary care in Wales. Live testing is about to begin of a new Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) which will see prescriptions sent electronically from a GP practice to the pharmacy of a patient’s choice, without the need for a paper prescription form.

The move away from a paper-based process to a digital service will bring benefits to patients, GP surgeries, pharmacies, and the environment, saving up to 40 million paper forms every year.

When complete, the Electronic Prescription Service will be available all across Wales but in the first phase of testing that will start shortly,  it will be offered to patients in the Lakeside Medical Centre GP practice and Wellington Road community pharmacy in Rhyl, to ensure it meets the necessary technical and safety requirements before wider roll out starts.

The work is a key part of the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio which brings together the programmes and projects that will deliver the benefits of a fully digital prescribing approach in all care settings in Wales.

Jenny Pugh-Jones, Senior Responsible Officer, Primary Care EPS Programme said:

I’m delighted at the progress that is being made to make the electronic transfer of prescriptions available everywhere in Wales. To be able to begin live testing an EPS service is an important milestone and we are working closely with colleagues in pharmacies and GP practices, along with all pharmacy system and GP system suppliers in Wales and our colleagues in NHS England, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and Digital Health and Care Wales to make this happen. We are in the early stages of the journey to deliver an EPS in Wales and are looking forward to being able to start delivering the service in a phased roll out across Wales before the end of the year.”

The introduction of an EPS will make the prescribing, dispensing and reimbursement process safer, more efficient and convenient for patients and healthcare staff:

  • Patients will no longer have to visit the surgery to collect a prescription form 
  • GPs and other prescribers will be able to sign prescriptions digitally, freeing up more time for care 
  • Safer management of medicines and repeat prescriptions 
  • Pharmacies and dispensers will be able to reduce their use of paper 

To enable an Electronic Prescription Service to be delivered in Wales, GP and community pharmacy IT system providers are developing their systems to be able to send and receive the electronic transfer of prescriptions securely. This work is already underway and the first two systems are part of the early testing of the service.

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, Andrew Evans, said:

The EPS programme is part of a wider commitment by Welsh Government to introduce digital medicines management and e-prescribing in all hospitals and primary care settings in Wales through the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio. The test work beginning shortly will help to ensure many more patients and clinicians see the benefits of EPS next year as the programme rolls out.  It is critical that these changes are introduced carefully and safely, the move to live testing for EPS is a significant step for the programme.”

*For further information please contact Alison Watkins, Head of Communications and Engagement, Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio at

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. The DMTP is hosted by Digital Health and Care Wales.

Find out more on the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio site.