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Electronic Prescriptions to be Introduced Nationally from November 2019


Electronic prescriptions

Electronic prescriptions will be introduced from next month in a move to scrap paper prescriptions and save £300 million by 2021, Primary Care Minister Jo Churchill has announced today.

Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

Almost 70% of all prescriptions are already being prescribed and dispensed electronically through a system called the electronic prescription service (EPS) after rigorous testing by 60 GPs and pharmacies. By November 2019, almost all prescriptions are expected to be issued through the EPS, and patients will get their medications by nominating a pharmacy that will receive the details directly from their GP.

Paper prescriptions

You'll still be able to choose to have paper prescriptions if you request one. They will have a digital barcode which can be scanned at any pharmacy to retrieve medication details.

Saving vital time

Primary Care Minister Jo Churchill said:

"Digitising the entire prescription service is a key part of keeping up the drive to make the NHS fit for the 21st century. This will free up vital time for GPs and allow pharmacists to spend more time with their patients, and save millions of pounds a year.

"It’s another important step towards eventually making all prescriptions paperless. We are continuing to improve technology across the NHS, which will ultimately improve care for patients."

Increasing efficiency

Dr Ian Lowry, Director of Digital Medicines and Pharmacy at NHS Digital, said:

"Every prescription that is sent electronically saves money for the NHS by increasing efficiency. The system is also safer and more secure, as prescriptions can’t be lost and clinicians can check their status online.

"This is a huge milestone to reach, and one which benefits patients, GPs, pharmacists and the NHS as a whole."

Prescriptions and PSC

People with PSC often have other diseases and might therefore need a number of prescriptions. You are responsible for ensuring that you understand why you are taking the medication prescribed to you. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or nurse to explain. You should also have your prescriptions reviewed on a regular basis by your GP or pharmacist.

See also information about repeat prescriptions and paying for prescriptions and your prescriptions and the EU Exit.