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Welsh government pledges up to £20k per pharmacy for automation

Community pharmacy contractors can apply for a £20,000 grant to install automated systems at their premises, the Welsh government has announced.

Following the popularity of the 2020/21 automated systems scheme, the Welsh government is inviting applications for a second year, it said in a letter to contractors last month (April 12).

Pharmacies can apply for a share of £200,000 allocated to introduce automated systems in community pharmacies in 2021/22. This will be capped at a “maximum of £20,000 per premises… to support as many applications as possible”, according to the letter, which was signed by chief pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans and head of pharmacy and prescribing Lynne Schofield.

Criteria of assessment

Those who were awarded a share of the government’s automation budget last year – who received grants of up to £25,000 – “tested alternative automated processes or demonstrated the proposed benefits to their particular business and local community”, Mr Evans and Ms Schofield said.

In their applications, contractors should specify how the grant will help them “achieve efficiencies” and specify how it “will ensure an improved patient experience”, according to the letter.

“In view of the limited resources available, companies with more than one branch should consider the requirement to identify and outline the benefits to a specific pharmacy and community and not submit generic applications,” Mr Evans and Ms Schofield advised.

Pharmacies have until May 28 to submit their applications, which they can email to [email protected].

More than £9 million was paid to contractors in Wales in 2020/21, in addition to the global sum agreed, in recognition of the role played by the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will your pharmacy apply for this grant?

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