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Lloyds: New dispensing system in Wales as national rollout on the way

The multiple hopes all branches will be live with the new system in 2021. Pic credit: Lloydspharmacy

Lloydspharmacy has begun rolling out a new dispensing system across its Welsh branches, aiming to have it live across all its British pharmacies by next year, C+D has learned.

Introduced to replace the existing 20-year-old dispensing system, the new one has been piloting in Wales, where it is currently being rolled out, Toby Anderson, CEO of Lloydspharmacy’s parent company McKesson UK, told C+D in an interview last month (September 10).

The multiple is aiming for all branches in Wales, England, Scotland and those located in Sainsbury’s stores to go live with the new system in 2021, a McKesson UK spokesperson told C+D earlier this month (October 8).

Different regulatory environments

The rollout of the new dispensing system is a “multi-phased approach” as its introduction is dependent on the different regulations in place in each UK nation, Mr Anderson told C+D in September. “It’s the priority at the moment, we're rolling out in Wales,” he said.

He added that technology is also slightly different in each country. “It’s not completely different [but] there are enough differences that it can't be exactly the same everywhere and we have to work along it in a sort of parallel stream,” Mr Anderson said.

Although he did not disclose many details about the new dispensing system, Mr Anderson said it will be “easier and more intuitive” for pharmacy teams to use and that it takes away the need to complete certain tasks manually.

“I think it's a good demonstration that, despite all the well-known challenges around funding in our industry, we are continuing to invest in terms of providing the tools that people need to continue to…[offer a] great service to patients in their communities,” Mr Anderson said.

Meeting the requirements

Lloydspharmacy is “working closely” with NHS Digital to meet the requirements for the launch of the system in England, according to the McKesson spokesperson.

NHS Digital told C+D earlier this week (October 20) that it is working with Lloydspharmacy to “assure the electronic prescription service functionality for their new dispensing system”.

Lloydspharmacy is completing a similar process in Scotland, the McKesson spokesperson added.  

Read our exclusive interview with Lloydspharmacy CEO Toby Anderson to find out what the multiple is doing to prevent further closures, its experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest on hub-and-spoke, and more. 

Are you pleased with the dispensing system in use at your pharmacy?

Mr Anon, Community pharmacist


Mar Mite, Community pharmacist



In agreement with Angry Pharmacist, and Leon, Compass was ridiculously user-unfriendly. 


And as for the customer flu booking service, it was a total disgrace. Bookings were taken for dates before any stock would ever be available, countless customers appointments were cancelled, often on the day, and staff accepted that as just par-for-the-course so the apologies were weak, and new dates on offer were then moved beyond all the current bookings for the subsequent days. No rational at all. 


And as you say, Angry, its us  locums poorly paid, booked by unfriendly coordinators,  bearing the brunt of disgruntled customers and harassed overworked staff.  


And I nearly fell off my chair with the email request for locum cover for flu-jab clinics, expectation of 70-80 to do per day, £20ph, mileage never paid.

Happy for comments to go to Lloyds Chief Toby Anderson.


Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

If you thought that Compass was bad, oh what a disappointment you have ahead. This system is even worse! Every branch so far has hated it and orders completely messed up. Had 60 odd totes delivered on a saturday instead of 8. 16 Trimbow inhalers and 8 seperate invoices for Medikinet. Worst system ever!! Also very rude co-ordinators that do not respond to locum bookings and expect their pharmacists to do 80 flu vaccines for a measly £20 an hour. No mileage or parking paid and if you're very lucky up to £10 for travelling over 100 miles as the crow flies can be claimed with permission from the area manager. All branches are short staffed and scripts undispensed due to staff shortages.

O J, Community pharmacist

First shift?

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Unfortunately no.

Mr Anon, Community pharmacist

Agreed it makes compass look like a walk in the park (albeit a park on a cold wet day where you get mugged for good measure)

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Is it a PMR other than Pharmacy Manager? My understanding that was on the table for a long time, and they use that in every store in a supermarket. I need to look up how Titan is doing these days ever since it had the awkward break-up with Well Bestway.

Honestly, though, I cannot articulate strongly enough how ineffectual Compass is as a PMR system. Not only is it a marvel at how dated it runs on a technical level, how the user interface is something out of a 1980's sci-fi, how it has long-standing bugs, struggles to basic QoL life tasks (anyone who's had to claim scripts for Lloyds will know this one.), how slow and clunky it is to do anything.

I'm actually super glad Compass is being removed, that piece of software belongs in the past along with fax machines, Reliant Robins, and Betamax!

Aldosterone antagonist, Locum pharmacist

RX web and proscript connect are the best ones IMO

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Not Rx Web. The ordering system is too clunky, the claiming procedure is slow in the extreme and the search facilities are poor - if you have a discrepancy in the CD register for example, it's very difficult to find out who had what and when. Proscript connect seems to me like the most user-friendly system I've come across. Nothing is perfect (you'd think someone would be able to pick the good points from all the systems, squeeze them together and come up with PMR 2.0) but it seems to be the nearest.

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Nexphase and Analyst seem to be the most user friendly in my opinion

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