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The first 24-hour pharmacy dispensing machine arrives in Wales

The Health Dispensary based in Neath has just installed the first automated 24-hour pharmaceutical dispensing collection point in Wales.

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The £35,000 investment supported by Barclays uses robotic technology to dispense and receive customer prescriptions (think cashpoint but giving out prescriptions rather than cash following the input of a six-digit pin number provided by text to the customer from the pharmacy).

This first in Wales comes on the back of £380,000 investment supported by Barclays last year to renovate, refurbish and expand this independent pharmacy which has been based at Windsor Road, Neath since 2004.


The business currently employs 11 staff and expects turnover to exceed £1 million next year.

Ali Sparkes, Company Director of the Health Dispensary Ltd said:

“I saw the machine on twitter and loving innovation just thought I have to get one. The ability for the machine to scan prescriptions and store pre ordered prescriptions saves us a huge amount of time which we can use to have longer more productive healthcare conversations with our customers. It also gives customers far more flexibility to collect prescriptions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “ 

John Curtis, Barclays Business Manager, said:

“Barclays research identifies the significant role “entrepreneurs” play in the local economy and is committed to supporting such propositions. By using our knowledge and experience within the local market, Barclays Business has been delighted to support The Health Dispensary and wishes the business every success for the future. The investment in new technologies shows the forward looking strategy of the management team and will allow the business to divert resources into other areas of the business.” 

Ali Sparkes continues “We already provide additional complementary therapies such as acupuncture, osteopathy and reflexology which are all available at the premises in addition to the day to day activity of a traditional dispensing chemist. We are committed to promoting self-care and feel good living. While we dispense tablets and medicine on one side of the building we are keen to advise on alternative treatments and explore any additional health issues before treatment may even be required. A good pharmacist can hopefully prevent, as well as treat many conditions before it is too late.”

“We are creating a healthcare brand which offers a one stop shop for a range of healthcare treatments. We have reinvented our business model, dropping some large contracts in order to expand our overall healthcare service and deliver a service which myself and the team is truly passionate about. In addition to existing counselling services, we are also sponsoring a PhD in mental health interventions to provide the full spectrum of health related services.”