Logistex R&D supports revolutionary NHS electronic prescription service

Logistex is a world-leading designer and supplier of integrated storage and materials handling systems. From its UK head office, it supplies and supports intelligent, productive, bespoke and cost-effective warehouse management solutions to clients across a variety of sectors. Their collaborative approach to business has earned them large clients such as Superdrug, B&Q and QUIZ Clothing.

Research and development is a key part of their operations, maintaining their position as a market leader. Their R&D activity focuses on the development of software used to support its warehouse management solutions and control systems.

One of the most recent R&D claims for Logistex stemmed from work undertaken in collaboration with Leeds-based Pharmacy2U, the UK’s largest NHS approved online pharmacy. A pioneer in digital healthcare, Pharmacy2U was a founding partner of the NHS Electronic Prescription Service, using technology to improve patient access to healthcare and help ease strain on the NHS. With remarkable forecasted growth for the year ahead, Pharmacy2U required new technology to open up its services to thousands of more patients across the UK.

The future of NHS prescriptions

Logistex was brought on board to design and develop a fixed price solution to accurately pick, pack and dispatch both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, at a rate of over 600 prescription orders per hour. Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director for Logistex commented:

The automated pharmacy dispensing system for Pharmacy2U represents a technological advance not previously deployed in the UK. Pharmacy2U has been visionary in their strategy to embrace the latest automation systems and technology capable of delivering the highest levels of security, service and operational efficiency.

Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director at Logistex

The revolutionary pharmacy dispensing and warehouse system developed by Logistex integrates a range of technologies, including pick to light, conveyor, an automated packaging solution and automated twin headed dispensing robots; all of which presented technical challenges in development.

In order to accurately identify which activity and costs were eligible under the R&D Tax Credit scheme, Logistex turned to MPA – a trusted partner since 2009. Woodhouse explained:

It can be difficult to identify which parts of our work relate to the scheme, and as a small company dealing with some really large clients, we just don’t have time to decipher HMRC’s rules for the scheme. Using MPA has simplified the whole process. Over the years we have worked together we have built a level of trust which allows us to leave the claim to them and focus our time on our next project.

Jerry Woodhouse, Managing Director at Logistex

Trial and error

The development of this system required multiple rounds of trial and development. Given the gravity of service, Pharmacy2U required the dispensing accuracy of the system to be 100%. This included a triple barcode verification process to ensure the dispensation of the correct quantities of medicines for the right patient and labelled with the appropriate clinical information. Stock accuracy involved maintaining a precise record of stock levels and location. Logistex was also tasked with integrating their product with the Pharmacy2U Dispensing Software Application, which retrieves data such as patient notes, doctors’ advice and clinical information.

The development of this system marked an exciting breakthrough in this sector, as Founder and CPO of Pharmacy2U Daniel Lee explained:

We are transforming patient access to pharmacy services by managing repeat prescriptions from request to delivery. Our phenomenal growth has resulted in significant investment in this new award winning facility that has enabled us to offer our services to many more patients. Technology has changed the retail, travel and grocery industries in recent years, and now it is healthcare’s much needed turn.

Daniel Lee, Founder and CPO at Pharmacy2U

The Pharmacy2U service responds to a growing demand from the public for more convenient ways for patients to obtain their repeat prescriptions. The new facility has ramped up Pharmacy2U’s dispatch capacity by more than 10 times – allowing the company to dispatch up to one million prescription items a month. Not only has this project revolutionised the NHS prescription service, it has also created over 60 new jobs at Pharmacy2U.

This would never have been possible without the expertise and knowledge of Logistex, who are able to undertake this kind of work and remain an independent company without involvement of investors and shareholders, in part thanks to support from government schemes such as the R&D tax relief scheme.

If you want to find out more about eligibility for government funding, contact us today.