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Innovation and Technology

Making better use of digital, data, and communication technologies will help us to raise the quality and value of health and social care services, so that they are cost-effective and sustainable and also bring our offer in line with increasing expectations of technology in people’s day-to-day lives.

Harnessing innovation and technology

During the pandemic, technology was quickly implemented to facilitate ease of interaction between patients and practitioners, with video consultations being made available routinely for pharmacy in community and primary care.

The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio, established by Digital Health and Care Wales, brings together the programmes and projects that will deliver the benefits of a fully digital prescribing approach in all care settings in Wales.

By 2025 this comprehensive and robust digital platform will be embedded, connecting primary, community and secondary care. The plan for transformation in prescribing will also ensure a medicines data repository is put in place to support clinical and prescribing decisions.

Electronic prescribing solutions, automation, and digitally enhanced ways for patients to order routine medicines will be embedded in practice, creating efficiency within services and time for pharmacy teams away from administrative tasks to deliver patient-centred care.

Electronic transfer of prescriptions and secure access to patient medication information will increase convenience, reduce prescription and administration errors and ensuring more timely supply of medicines at all points where medicines are dispensed. The plans for e-prescribing also aim to put patients in greater control of their medication through electronic applications.

Advances in therapeutics continue apace and this includes advanced therapy medicinal products as well as precision medicine. Pharmacists will play a leading role in advancing the pharmacogenomics revolution, allowing a personalised approach to prescribing and transforming patient outcomes. PGx is already benefitting patients in Wales, for example in the routine screening of all cancer patients eligible for treatment with a specific chemotherapy (fluoropyrimidine-based). The testing identifies the risk of experiencing severe side effects and enabling appropriate dose modifications or drug selection to improve patient safety.

2025 Goals

  • GOAL 13: Implement electronic prescribing solutions across all pharmacy settings, including supporting patients to access pharmacy services through the NHS Wales app
    + EXPAND
    We will achieve this by:

    13.1 Contributing to the development of the following Welsh Government programmes to ensure the systems built are fit-for purpose:

    • Secondary Care electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) Programme
    • Primary Care Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
    • Shared Medicines Record Project
    • Digital Services for Patients and Public Programme i.e. NHS Wales App.

    Measures may include:

    • Community pharmacies are able to receive electronic prescriptions from GP practices.
    • Electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems are in use in hospitals across Wales
    • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are able to access patients’ medication records in both primary and secondary care systems.
    • Patients are able to access their medicines records via the NHS Wales app, which also provides functionality to support medication adherence.

    13.2 Engaging with DHCW to provide pharmacy teams with training to help them support patients in using the NHS Wales app.

    Measures may include:

    • Creating a suite of materials that demonstrates how the app works.

  • GOAL 14: Medication related incidents are reported and actioned to improve patient safety
    We will achieve this by:

    14.1 Improving the quality of pharmaceutical care by improving the culture of openness, transparency and candour within the pharmacy profession in Wales through improved reporting and learning from medication errors in all sectors.

    Measures may include:

    • Medication related incidents across all care settings are reported into a central repository.

    14.2 Continuing to identify the most commonly reported medicines related incidents.

    Measures may include:

    • Action taken to improve outcomes on the most commonly reported incidents, sharing learning across Wales to prevent such incidents.

    14.3 Reduce medicines related harm in hospitals by reducing the preparation of high risk medicines on wards.

    Measures may include:

    • Use of ready to administer preparations produced by the CIVAS unit across Wales.

    14.4 Developing a proactive medicines and patient safety plan through the Medicines Safety Officers Network.

    Measures may include:

    • Plan developed and in place across Wales.
  • GOAL 15: Increase capacity for pharmacy professionals to spend on patient facing activity by introducing efficiencies in the dispensing of medicines
    + EXPAND
    We will achieve this by:

    15.1 Implementing new models that reduce the time spent on dispensing activities in pharmacy settings.

    Measures may include:

    • Increase in the number of CPs receiving 56 day or more prescriptions or batch prescriptions.
    • A completely Automated dispensing system within hospital piloted in one health board area.

    15.2 Implementing digital systems to help prioritise patients that will benefit most from input from the pharmacy team.

    Measures may include:

    • Implementing systems that help to prioritise patients that need the most medicines expertise e.g. highlight complex medicines requiring calculated dose / narrow therapeutic index / additional monitoring.

    15.3 Supporting patients to order their medication through digital apps and innovative technologies to increase flexibility and empower patients to take greater control of their routine medicines supply.

    Measures may include:

    • Measurement of the number of patients ordering medicines via the NHS Wales app.
  • GOAL 16: Embed elements of a medicines genomic plan into pharmacy practice
    + EXPAND
    We will achieve this by:

    16. 1 Establishing an agreed pharmacogenomic panel service across Wales.

    Measures may include

    • Service agreed and established across pharmacy settings.

    16.2 Introducing medicines related genomic awareness training for the pharmacy team relevant to their practice.

    Measures may include

    • 20% of the pharmacy workforce have undertaken basic training about the fundamentals of pharmacogenomics e.g. attending RPS / HEIW webinars.

    16.3 Embedding a competency framework for genomics in pharmacy practice.

    Measures may include:

    • Framework available and being utilised by a pharmacy genomic champions network.

    16.4 Driving service change by establishing a workforce structure that can champion pharmacy’s role in genomics.

    Measures may include:

    • A consultant pharmacist in genomics in post to advise on practice and lead quality improvement at local and national levels.
    • Creation of pharmacy genomics champion roles across Wales.

    1 Putting strategy into action *Utlise content from

The PDaHW digital Medicines management sub-group overview

The Wales Pharmacy Partnership which represents the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (Wales), Community Pharmacy Wales, Association of Pharmacy Technicians (Wales) and Welsh Chief Pharmacists’ Group approached the NWIS Pharmacy and Medicines Management Lead to set up a Pharmacy Digital Group to support the digital elements of Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales.

The objectives of the group are:

To support the harnessing innovation and technology principles:

  • We will completely digitise medicines prescribing and associated processes to increase efficiency and safety across all sectors
  • We will use advances in technology to help people get the best health and medicines outcomes
  • We will develop pharmacy teams that will work collaboratively with other disciplines to support the safe introduction and positive patient outcomes from new medicines, precision and personalised therapies.

The delivery of the 2022 Goals

  • Central Electronic Health Record
  • Consultations facilitated by telehealth
  • E-medicines management systems, integrated across all sectors.

Patients central electronic medical records are accessed and updated by practitioners involved in their care, including the pharmacy team.

This will be achieved through alignment of digital projects across Wales, sharing of information, data analysis and production of a route map. The group will report to the Delivery Programme Board of Pharmacy-Delivering a Healthier Wales (PDAHW). The group will also liaise with key stakeholders as required including Wales Pharmacy Partnership (and constituent groups).

The group first met in June 2020 and currently meets bi-monthly or more frequently if required. Current membership is composed of:

  • NWIS Pharmacy lead
  • NWIS Medical representative (General practice)
  • Community pharmacy representatives using technology such as dispensing hubs, GP prescribing systems, Choose Pharmacy application (CRG)
  • Hospital pharmacy representatives using IT systems e.g. Welsh Clinical Portal, e-prescribing systems
  • NHS111 Pharmacy representative
  • Representatives from Cardiff and Swansea Schools of Pharmacy
  • RPS Digital lead
  • Health Board/Trust Director or Assistant Director of Informatics
  • Nurse advisor (Medicines management)
  • AWTTC/WAPSU representative
  • Pharmaceutical industry representative.


Cheryl Way, Pharmacy and Medicines Management lead, NWIS


Deputy Chair

Adam Turner, Senior Lecturer, Swansea University



Jonathan Lloyd Jones, RPS Wales ([email protected])