The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service that allows your prescriptions to be sent to a pharmacy or dispenser of your choice. They will be signed, sent and processed digitally, without having to be handled by you.
What does EPS mean for you?
· If you use a pharmacy to collect your medication you can order online or via your pharmacy and you will not have to visit the Health Centre to collect your prescription; it will be sent electronically to the place you choose, saving you time.
· If you have stable chronic health condition you can set up a regular prescription order, so that the only time you need to visit the Health Centre is when you need to see a GP or nurse.
· You can choose to collect your medicines from any pharmacy or dispensing service in England. If you are on regular medication, it will always be quicker for you to nominate a pharmacy so that your prescriptions can be sent there to be dispensed before you collect your medication, but you can nominate a pharmacy local to where you work or shop, or choose to use an online pharmacy.
· Your GP will use EPS every time you require a prescription, no matter how often this is. Your prescription will be sent to the secure NHS database, where it will remain until you ask a pharmacy to dispense it.
· The software required to download prescription information from the NHS database is only available to pharmacies at present. If you are a dispensing patient will continue to benefit from a one-stop dispensing service that enables you to order and collect your medication without having to handle your prescription.
How do you use EPS?
· EPS currently allows your GP to send your prescriptions electronically to any pharmacy in England – this is known as your "nominated" dispenser. You may have already nominated your usual pharmacy, possibly without realising it, and this will be recorded in your GP medical records.
· Patients without an EPS nomination may be given a paper ‘token,’ which is a paper copy of your prescription. The token contains a unique barcode which can be scanned at any pharmacy in England to enable them to obtain your prescription information from the NHS database.
· Once your prescription has been sent to the NHS database any pharmacy can retrieve the information required to dispense your medication provided you can provide details confirming your identity. It is helpful, but not essential, to have your NHS number available. This is available on the NHS App which you can also use to order your prescription online and find health information. You can read more about the NHS App and download it by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-app/
· You can only use EPS to obtain your medication from a pharmacy in England. If you want to use a pharmacy in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you will still require a paper prescription. Paper prescriptions will continue to be available in other special circumstances, but almost all prescriptions can be processed electronically.
How do I add or change my nomination?
· Ask any pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS, or staff at the Health Centre, to add your nomination for you. You may have already nominated your usual pharmacy, possibly without realising it, and this will be recorded in your GP medical records.
· If you want to change or cancel your nomination speak to any pharmacist or our practice staff. Tell them before your next prescription is due or your prescription may be sent to the wrong place.
· Initially you may be issued with a paper token, and you can choose to continue to receive a token if you prefer. A token is printed on green prescription paper, but it is an unsigned copy of your prescription information. It has a unique barcode which any pharmacy can scan to enable them to dispense your medication. We will continue to issue paper prescriptions for patients using the Dispensary until software is available, but otherwise paper prescriptions will only be issued in special circumstances.
Is EPS reliable, secure and confidential?
· Yes. Your electronic prescription will be seen by the same people in GP practices, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies that see your paper prescription now.
· Sometimes dispensers may see that you have nominated another dispenser. For example, if you forget who you have nominated and ask them to check or, if you have nominated more than one dispenser.
All patients living in Goostrey, and anyone who lives elsewhere but more than one mile from a pharmacy is permitted under NHS rules to obtain their medication from the Dispensary within the Health Centre.
As a dispensing patient you are not required to nominate a pharmacy, as your prescription will automatically be sent to the dispensary. In fact, EPS will not make any difference to your current prescription service as this is already effectively ‘paperless.’ Although paper prescriptions will continue to be generated and processed within the dispensary, all medication will be dispensed without the need for you to handle your prescription.
Prescriptions for all patients will continue to be generated by our prescription team within the Dispensary. Prior to EPS being available it has been necessary to collect a paper prescription from the Dispensary, resulting at times in a long wait and frustration. Now that all prescriptions are sent electronically to your chosen pharmacy or dispenser the footfall within the Dispensary should be greatly reduced. In this way, EPS will enable us to improve the service we are provide to all patients using the Dispensary.
Ordering your prescription
EPS will ensure your prescriptions are sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice, but there is no change to how you order your prescriptions:
Order your repeat prescription online using patient access, accessible via the practice website or the NHS App.
Use your current repeat prescription slip or complete a request form, available in the foyer or at the dispensary.
Place your request form in the collection box in the health centre, post it to the surgery.
Your electronic prescription is available for a pharmacy to download from the NHS database as soon as it has been generated. However, please check with your nominated pharmacy how long they require before collection. If you are a dispensing patient, please try to allow us one week to dispense your medication, and extra days if affected by Bank Holidays.
EPS is reliable, secure, and confidential. Your electronic prescription will be seen by the same people in GP practices, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies that see your paper prescription now.
For more information talk to your community pharmacist, staff at the Health Centre, or visit www.hscic.gov.uk/epspatients.