IT and EPS contingency planning
IT and EPS contingency planning
Business continuity resources are found at our Business continuity hub and the emergency and business continuity and template planning page. IT/EPS-specific additional resources and some suggested actions include the below. This website section will continue to be udated in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Broader IT/EPS planning
- Pharmacy or ODS/IT change checklist for working through if you change supplier/ODS/IT/ownership/location.
- Working with GP practices on EPS business continuity for before or during an issue.
Working with EPS prescriptions and tokens
- Returning EPS prescription to the Spine.
- Steps for locating a missing EPS prescription.
- Using EPS Tracker standard mode or continuity mode e.g. how to use Tracker to obtain an EPS prescription number and pull down prescriptions more speedily, and more.
- Submitting EPS prescription in a timely fashion to mitigate issues in case of a temporary closure or technical outage.
- Split prescription items – dispensing for patients with medicines on both EPS and paper.
- EPS token problems with receiving or printing these.
- Refer to our psnc.org.uk/reportIT webpage which includes links to our reporting EPS one-pager factsheet, Smartcard escalation process, NHSmail escalation process and more. This webpage also explains: if your pharmacy is faced with having to close temporarily and you have an outstanding question about EPS/IT please contact email@example.com. PSNC is working with NHS Digital and other organisations regarding the arrangements in the event of a temporary closure.
- Medicine database issues – medicinal items must be mapped against NHS medicine database (dm+d).
- Smartcards multi-site and SCR arrangements: Use this guidance at and Smartcard role set guidance to help ensure you have Smartcards set-up correctly for each staff member within your pharmacy or area. Given risks of staff shortages and temporary closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, some LPCs and RAs are working together to further refine multi-site policies e.g. granting the site-generic FFFFF code onto Smartcards of those with technician/pharmacist profiles on their cards for a set period of time. PSNC’s IT team is also working with national organisations on the matter and learnings from such localities will be considered. LPCs may use the Smartcard escalation process as required.
- Obtaining Temp Access Smartcards if your local RA provides these.
- Setting up Smartcard sponsors/unlockes with extra admin/unlocking rights to reduce reliance on
- NHSmail webpage – technical queries section.
- Spine EPS and NHS IT alerts can be sent to you to warn you of major NHS IT issues
- SCR reporting business continuity if this does not work.
Technical failure, outages, systems
- Guidance in event of technical failure.
- Understanding EPS/IT failure points
- EPS and NHS IT service status checker webpage.
- Avoiding data loss with PMR backup processes.
- EPS Troubleshooting Factsheet (NHS Digital).
- Software/hardware may be upgraded but speak with your supplier or IT support first to maintain compatibilities
- Ensure team members have Smartcards set-up with the appropriate roles and ODS codes on them (multi-site where needed) and NHSmail personal accounts that link to the pharmacy shared NHSmail mailbox.
- Review the webpages within this website section to support your IT contingency efforts.
- Sign-up to receive Spine EPS and NHS IT alerts so that you can receive an email or text when there are national EPS problems.
- Favourite and use the EPS and NHS IT service status checker webpage to check if NHS IT issues relate to national or system issues.
- Sign-up for Priority Services Register (PSR) for priority to utilities access in event of problems.
Return to the IT section: EPS home