Service alert: Error with some EPS Release One (R1) prescriptions

Dispensary computer

Service alert: Error with some EPS Release One (R1) prescriptions

March 2, 2016

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) have published a news item regarding an issue with the use of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS):  One GP system supplier has been working with HSCIC to fix an error. The error meant that some GP practices were able to send Schedule 2/3 Controlled Drug prescriptions via Release 1 (barcoded). Usually such prescriptions should not be transmitted via Release 1.

If pharmacy teams come across affected prescriptions the solution is:

  1. Dispense the prescription as if it had been a paper one – the paper element is the legal one and both words and figures appear on the physical prescription;
  2. Don’t scan the barcode, but if you do this will not cause an issue.

HSCIC explain affected prescriptions should be some of those Release 1 controlled drug prescriptions dating between 26th February and 2nd March. The relevant GP system implemented a fix today.

This issue does not impact EPS Release 2 prescriptions.

Identifying other issues with the national EPS systems

PSNC recommends to be aware of possible future issues, pharmacy teams use the following three EPS tools:

  • Alerts: Staff can register to receive text or email alerts in the event that the national HSCIC systems that support EPS are experiencing issues at
  • Checker: Visit the HSCIC service status checker webpage which provides information about the status of the national systems at
  • Tracker: The EPS Prescription Tracker webpage provides information on the status of individual prescriptions at


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