RPS Wales has welcomed an announcement by the Welsh Government to push ahead with plans for a national electronic prescribing programme.

The announcement follows the findings of an independent review of options for electronic prescribing arrangements in Wales and recognises the need for a whole system approach to modernise medicines management and administration across the NHS.

Plans will be made and implemented over the next 3-5 years to develop a comprehensive and robust digital platform that brings together 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.

As one of the Welsh Government’s priorities for 2021-26, the need for an e-prescribing systems has been accelerated by the pandemic. Electronic transfers of prescriptions and secure access to patient medication information have an important role in improving patient experience by increasing convenience and reducing footfall to health care premises, reducing 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 put patients in more control of their medication through electronic applications. The Minister for Health and Social Care has made it clear that this programme of work must be outcomes focused and built on the needs of Welsh citizens.

Commenting on the announcement, Cheryl Way, Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board said:

“We are delighted that the Welsh Health Minister has committed to implementing e-prescribing solutions for Wales. This is an important development which will not only improve the information availability and efficiencies for health professionals but will drive up patient safety and put patients in greater control of their medication regimen.

We appreciate this digital programme will be a significant undertaking, requiring complex technical solutions that join up primary, community and secondary care. We are also conscious it will take time to deliver. We are keen to understand more about how the delivery plans can be taken forward at pace and where the RPS can support our members and the implementation of digital prescribing solutions”.