FIVE automated prescription collection machines could be installed across Gwent.
Plans have been approved for three Pharmaself24 prescription machines in the region, while two are currently going through the planning system.
At the start of the year, an application for one at New Inn Pharmacy in Pontypool said there were fewer than 50 such machines in the UK.
The one in New Inn, along with one at J D S Evans Pharmacy in Newport and one at Nelson’s Pharmacy in Caerphilly have already been approved.
Plans for a machine at Mayberry Pharmacy in Newport and H Shackleton in Ebbw Vale are awaiting an outcome.
The service will work by pharmacy staff loading medicines into the Pharmaself24 machine using a barcode to ensure security.
Patients will receive a text message when their prescription is ready to be collected, with a unique PIN number.
They will then enter the PIN on a touchscreen and the medicine will be dispensed from a slot.
The collection flap will be automatically locked when patients are not collecting prescriptions.
The 24/7 service is aimed at reducing waiting times for customers and will allow them to collect prescriptions at any time.
It has been used elsewhere in the UK and Europe, proving particularly effective during the coronavirus pandemic.
It will allow patients to get prescriptions at any point in their day – whenever is most convenient.
Prescription machines have been granted planning permission at:
New In Pharmacy, The Highway, Pontypool; J D S Evans Pharmacy, Belle Vue Terrace Newport and Nelson’s Pharmacy, The Nantgarw Road Medical Centre, Caerphilly.
Prescription machines are awaiting planning permission at:
Mayberry Pharmacy, Durham Road, Newport and H Shackleton, Riverside, Ebbw Vale.