Caythorpe & Ancaster Medical Practice

How Caythorpe boosted their growing dispensary with e-CASS

"I don't have to be on site, placing or checking every single order. Cambrian frees me and the team up to manage our clinical system and deliver services."


As a dispensing practice with a growing volume of 25000 items being prescribed - overseeing manual ordering meant having to be across a swathe of complex, ever changing variables for Edward Down, the Business Development Manager.

"Even the best dispensary manager in the world will get some decisions about where to buy things from wrong. You're pushed for time and knowledge, or you get interrupted."

The complication of price tiers, constant changes in medicine costs and a simple lack of time to ring round suppliers meant getting the best price was hard - and left them open to error.

"Making a mistake on an order can be costly. Over ordering on one item could be £500 - that's the cost of a nurse locum for a day."

Staffing challenges exacerbated the situation. Like many practices, there have been times Caythorpe & Ancaster struggled to find new staff when needed. So having clinicians time spent on the phone to suppliers meant more time pressure on delivering for patients.


Edward had already been building better systems for analysing and understanding the spend of the practice, but a meeting with our Dispensing Doctor business manager, Rachael, prompted him to look at the benefits of our cascade system, e-CASS.

Being able to quickly build order pads when they have scripts come in, and submit them with the knowledge they will get the cheapest available price was a big potential time saver for Edward. And the ability to block any over-tariff items also gave the team the comfort that they wouldn't be able to get in medicine that would result in big losses for the dispensary

Having full transparency on the costs of medicines was also something the team wanted - giving them the ability to log on to e-CASS Web, quickly check pricing across their suppliers and see the breakdown of price (including details on supplier tiers etc) - and see what suppliers were reporting out of stocks currently.

Finally - Edward was excited by the possibilities the monthly purchasing profit report offered. When he joined the team, they had to wait for months for an accountant to tell them if their purchasing was losing or making money. With the monthly report - he was able to validate the way his team was buying on a regular basis.

Useful features

Purchasing profit report

Allows Edward to track profits over multiple months and identify lines that could be swapped on their formulary

Over-tariff block

The team can now order without worrying about accidentally ordering ££s over tariff price


Caythorpe and Ancaster have seen profitability rise by between 5-7% since becoming a Cambrian Alliance member;

"Through the ability to order at market-leading prices and the prevention of ordering generics that are above drug tariff price, the system enables us to not only max out the money we can make."

With less orders for over-tariff items, they have saved money - but they also get notifications from e-CASS when an order has an over-tariff item on it. This means they can go on to e-CASS Web and look for P.I. products that are much cheaper, or order direct with suppliers to get the items if they're essential.

Using the purchasing profit report has changed how they analyse their spend - getting a regular understanding of what is profitable -

"I can see - this was a good month, that was a bad month. I can also look at what items are 0% profit on the report and think, why are we prescribing so much of that - let's change the formulary to a more profitable item"

"I'm always keen to see our purchasing profit report on the 1st of each month. I can easily track if we've had a good month or a bad month - it gives me a strategic view and allows me to identify if potential areas we can increase our profitability."

Edward Down

Business Development Manager,
Caythorpe and Ancaster Medical Practice

Dispensary type

Dispensing Doctor medical practice



Items prescribed


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Dispensing Doctors
Pause and edit PMR orders
Over-tariff orders