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Blueteq High Cost Drugs System for NHS Wales: Frequently Asked Questions


Why use the Blueteq High Cost Drugs (HCD) system in NHS Wales?

Blueteq HCD is a web-based software system that is designed to enhance financial governance of high-cost medicines and assure compliance with national clinical guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).

Blueteq HCD is already widely used throughout NHS England. The system gives NHS Wales a standardised process to reduce variation in access to medicines across health boards, with opportunities to record multiple datasets such as baseline demographics, clinical outcomes and patient characteristics.

Blueteq was introduced across NHS Wales for WHSSC commissioned medicines in April 2021. WHSSC manages the roll-out of all HCD drugs that it commissions. The roll out for the remaining HCDs in secondary and primary care started in April 2023 in accordance with WHC 2022 032 (March 2023) and is led by All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre (AWTTC) who supports AWMSG and its subgroups.

How does Blueteq HCD benefit clinicians?

Blueteq HCD provides fast approval for patient access to treatment, and detailed specific data benefits and planning. The clinical data available in Blueteq HCD helps to inform on service requirements in forecasting, planning and implementation activity for new medicines approved by NICE and AWMSG or recommended by the One Wales Medicines process.

Is the treatment criteria for an approval form in NHS Wales the same as in NHS England?

The forms used in NHS Wales follow NICE and AWMSG criteria, with possible additions for reporting when applicable.

How will I know when a medicine is on Blueteq HCD?

WHSSC will publish a list of medicine approval forms available on the NHS Wales Blueteq HCD system. WHSSC will update this list regularly. The list will be available on the WHSSC Blueteq website

Will patients in NHS Wales be denied access to a medicine or treatment if a form is not available on Blueteq HCD?

Before an approval form is available, patients will be able to receive a medicine or treatment if it is appropriate for their condition. This would go through the Prior Approval of Funding  process. Once the approval forms are available, it is expected that a form will be completed when starting treatment.

How long does it take to fill in a treatment initiation form?

The average time to fill in a treatment initiation form is approximately 5 to 10 minutes. The time taken will depend on someone’s experience of using Blueteq HCD and the type of treatment involved. The amount of detail needed to fill in the form can vary significantly.

How long will I have to wait for approval of treatment?

Wherever possible, forms are designed to allow automatic approval or rejection, so that an immediate response will be received after submitting the form.

Blueteq HCD retains a history of all requests, including all associated correspondence.

What if a patient doesn’t meet all the criteria but I still want them to receive treatment?

The health board, and multi-disciplinary team, will guide clinicians on which pathway to follow for their application for treatment to be considered; for example, an Individual Patient Funding Request (IPFR).

Will I need to fill in an approval form every time I prescribe a medicine?

No, you only need to fill in an approval form for your patient at the start of treatment, and sometimes for continuation of treatment, where national guidance demands a review.

What is the difference between a treatment initiation form and a continuation form?

A treatment initiation form is filled in before starting treatment, to gain approval. A treatment continuation form will only be needed for certain medicines where guidance recommends a review at a specific point(s) to meet criteria to continue on treatment.

How will the data collected through Blueteq HCD be used?

WHSSC and Health boards in Wales are able to use Blueteq HCD data to support clinical and financial governance of prescribing of high-cost medicines. The data will provide assurance that a high-cost medicine is available to patients who meet the national criteria for treatment.

Who will have access to the data collected through Blueteq HCD?

All NHS Wales users of Blueteq HCD will have access to their own relevant data within the system, which offers good support for clinical audits and planning.

Do providers who already use Blueteq HCD in NHS England, need a second log-in to the NHS Wales Blueteq HCD system, to fill in funding applications for patients in Wales?

Yes, NHSE and WHSSC are two separate systems therefore for a user to access both systems they would require an account for each system and therefore two logins.

How are Blueteq HCD forms created for a medicine?

Blueteq HCD forms are created for NHS Wales from scratch or adapted from a current NHS England template if available and appropriate.

Treatment criteria detailed in national guidance, such as NICE and AWMSG guidance, are used to develop the forms. Additional criteria may be added if appropriate.

The relevant clinical specialities within NHS Wales are consulted on the forms created, before they are finalised and uploaded to the system

Is there a Blueteq HCD user guide?

Yes, Blueteq HCD provides a comprehensive user guide for all aspects of the HCD system. The guide is available on the AWTTC website.

Blueteq HCD user training is also available from Blueteq. Contact the Blueteq support team on

Who do I contact if I have a query about filling in a form, or want to suggest an improvement to it?

Please contact Blueteq for setting up a new user or for training on how to use the system (free of charge) at either or

Who do I contact if I have technical problems with Blueteq HCD?

Contact the Blueteq support team on if you have any technical problems with Blueteq.